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Monday, 2 September, 2002, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Mental health plans unveiled
Depressed man
Anxiety and stress are among the conditions
One in five people in Scotland suffers from mental illness at some point in their lives.

The figure was revealed as plans were laid out to improve mental health and wellbeing in Scotland.

They aim to promote "positive" attitudes towards the illnesses such as depression and stress.

Mental health has been highlighted alongside cancer and heart disease as an area that the Scottish Executive wants to address.

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm said: "Mental health should have the same status and understanding as these physical diseases and the National Programme places it at the centre of the whole health improvement agenda."

Young and old

A national programme has been published in magazine format outlining its intended action which includes everyone from toddlers to pensioners.

Evidence suggests children who benefit from a positive start in life can avoid mental health problems later on.

The programme tells the elderly that growing old does not mean a poorer quality of life.

Although depression and dementia are common mental health problems in later life, they can be treated or individuals given support.

'Unnecessary pressure'

Currently at any one time 125,000 young people in Scotland will have a mental health problem severe enough to interfere with their daily lives.

Employers are also encouraged to review the way they manage staff to try to take away unnecessary pressure.

Statistics suggest that about 35% of absenteeism from work is caused by mental health problems, at a cost of between 1bn and 2bn.

See also:

18 Oct 01 | Scotland
10 Oct 01 | Scotland
22 Aug 01 | Scotland
31 Jul 01 | Scotland
25 Jan 01 | Scotland
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