New Routes Home Consultation Response to New Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy
Members of the New Routes Home partnership, including In Control Scotland, have responded to the Scottish Government’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The strategy sets out a vision of ‘better mental health and wellbeing for all’, along with draft outcomes it will aim to achieve.
New Routes Home campaigns for disabled people to have the right to a home, in their community, near their families and friends, with whatever support they need to help them live a good life. In Scotland, hundreds of autistic people and people with learning disabilities are stuck in psychiatric hospitals, away from their families, friends and communities. While there, they do not have access to the ordinary activities and supports that can help us all have good mental health and wellbeing, and they – and their families – often struggle to be heard, feeling left out of decisions made about their wellbeing.
Scotland has known for decades that institutions do not result in good outcomes for people, but the assumption prevails that when an autistic person or someone with a learning disability is deemed a risk to themselves or others, the only option is to be held in a locked ward away from everything that could facilitate good wellbeing. We grew out of this mindset many years ago for the majority of the population; it cannot continue.
Our consultation response sets out clearly where we believe there must be changes to the current system, to bring these families back together and to stop the hospitalizing of disabled people in the future.
Thank you to the people who gave their time and shared their experiences.