Date lodged: 13 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support children and young people affected by bereavement.
Answered by: Mark McDonald 5 August 2016
The Scottish Government recognises the impact bereavement can have on people’s lives, whether young or older, and where children and young people in particular are concerned it is supporting a broad programme of action to improve services including: Work across NHS Scotland to improve training and education for staff, patients, families and carers. Led by NHS Education Scotland, new education resources and a bespoke “Support Around Death” website for professionals are in place; The provision of funding to support third sector organisations who play a vital role in informing, supporting and counselling, including: Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland and their work to assist with the re-integration of children and young people into society after a bereavement; and Richmond’s Hope, to extend their successful Edinburgh based model of child bereavement services to the west of Scotland with a new Glasgow centre due to open next month; Through the Named Person provisions of Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC), providing a clear point of contact for children, young people and parents making it more straightforward to get help and advice; The establishment of more efficient and receptive support services around mental health services for bereaved children and young people as part of the additional £150m investment in mental health services over the next 5 years;Specific action is planned as part of the new Mental Health Strategy, which will be published later this year, aimed at ensuring that young people have good mental health and that agencies act early enough when issues such as grief and bereavement emerge and impact young lives.