A year on from the publication of a damning report into mental health services in Tayside the public is being asked whether significant progress has been made.
Dr David Strang’s study, the Trust and Respect Report, called for a drastic overhaul of local services, with 51 recommendations for change in total.
Now, almost a year on, a survey has been launched which the organisers hope will show the current state of mental health services in the region.
Mental health charities Plus Perth, Angus Voice and members of the Stakeholder Participation Group (SPG) – which was heavily consulted by Dr Strang – partnered up to launch the study.
Susan Scott, manager of Plus Perth said: “The survey will help us to gather evidence as to whether the wishes of the people whose comments in the collective service user statement are actually being met.
“We believe the survey can give us real answers as to whether things are changing, and whether or not people are having their needs met.
“The survey is very important as it is hoped it should provide insight into what is happening on the ground, in the very heart of our communities. ”
However, one Dundee man whose son took his own life due to mental illness said he is concerned the survey is just “another box ticking exercise.”
Phil Welsh has been campaigning for a 24/7 crisis centre in the city since his son Lee took his own life in 2017.
He said: “The SPG is an excellent group , made up of people with lived mental health experiences, so the question the SPG should be putting to the chief executive of NHS Tayside Grant Archibald is, how many of the 51 Strang recommendations have been implemented and which ones are these?
“We appear to be over old ground here, we have a clear set of recommendations as described in the damming report, yet little appears to have been implemented.
“While people are still presenting themselves onto the Tay Bridge with the intention of ending their life, I will continue to fight for what is desperately needed in Scotland’s suicide capital, and that is a crisis centre. Once that’s in place, I’ll happily fill out as many surveys as required.”
Gillian Murray, whose uncle David Ramsay took his own life after he was refused admission to Carseview, said she hoped the survey would help to determine whether improvements were being carried out.
However, she added: “It does concern me that without the constant media attention that we had at the start of the independent inquiry, there will be a reversion to business as usual for NHS Tayside mental health services, and we know from experience that can be deadly.”
In response to the Strang report, NHS Tayside produced an action plan which will be the blueprint for an overhaul of services by 2024.
The health board was approached for further comment.