Dr Richard Simpson MSP backs latest ‘see me’ campaign

Dr Richard Simpson MSP backs latest ‘see me’ campaign

Dr Simpson urges people across Mid Scotland and Fife to ‘Just Listen’ –

Dr Richard Simpson, Scottish Labour MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, has backed ‘see me’s latest campaign urging Scots to get talking about mental ill-health and listen to what is being said.

‘Just listen. You could change a life.’ is the message of the latest campaign from ‘see me’, Scotland’s national campaign to end the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health. Talking openly about mental ill-health isn’t always easy but with someone there to listen, it could change a life.

This latest activity comes on the back of recent research which found that a sizeable number of Scots[1] (40%) would find it hard, or are unsure how to discuss or talk about mental illness, despite nearly two thirds (61%) of the population[2] being in touch with someone with experience of mental ill-health.

Dr Simpson said: “I am supporting this latest campaign from ‘see me’ because stigma surrounding mental health ill-health still exists in Scotland and is something we all need to play our part in breaking down.

“I hope the campaign will encourage people across Mid Scotland and Fife to open up and talk about mental health issues. We need to start talking if want to stamp out the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health once and for all.”

Suzie Vestri, ‘see me’ campaign director, said: “If you think someone close to you might be experiencing mental ill-health, the first and most important thing to do is to ask how you can help, and listen to what they say to you.

“It’s not easy, and your help might not seem welcome at first, but keep asking how they are and listen attentively when they do open up. Only by talking positively and openly can we end the stigma that surrounds mental ill-health. I would encourage everyone in Mid Scotland and Fife to just listen. You really can change a life.”

Activity kicked off with a refreshed TV advert which features two friends talking about how one didn’t give up on the other who was experiencing mental ill-health until he opened up. This will be supported with new radio and print adverts as well as key digital and social media activity to start the Just listen. You could change a life conversation online.

Watch the TV advert here: www.seemescotland.org/justlisten  

Get involved in the online conversation by liking the ‘see me’ Facebook page or tweeting #endstigma #justlisten.

 

ENDS

 

For more information please contact Jenny Stewart or Calum Frier at Stripe Communications on 0131 561 8686 or seeme@stripecommunications.com

 

Notes to Editors

  • ‘see me’ is Scotland’s national campaign to end the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health.  The ‘see me’ anti-stigma campaign is owned and run by an alliance of five Scottish mental health organisations: HUG, Penumbra, Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Support in Mind Scotland.
  • ‘see me’ is fully funded by the Scottish Government
  • The ‘see me’ campaign features a programme of events and local and national initiatives to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems throughout Scotland.
  • The ’see me’ website www.seemescotland.org acts as a signpost site for those seeking information on stigma, mental health problems and support services in Scotland.


[1] Figures from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1011 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18 – 20 September 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+)

[2] Figures from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1011 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18 – 20 September 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+)

MSPs are in the picture for epilepsy awareness week

MSPs are in the picture for epilepsy awareness week

Dr Richard Simpson MSP joined with party leaders to put themselves in the picture about epilepsy issues today.  They framed their personal support for 54,000 people living with epilepsy in Scotland with a National Epilepsy Week (19-25 May) group photo to help highlight this year’s ‘many faces of epilepsy’ theme.

Dr Simpson, a Scottish Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife remarked:

“Epilepsy is still the most common, serious neurological condition in the world but it impacts each person’s life in a unique and individual way.  Epilepsy affects men, women and children of all ages from every ethnic group and social status.  The outlook is brighter for the half whose seizures are well managed with medication.  The picture is less rosy for almost a fifth whose epilepsy care could be further improved while the remainder face a difficult time, as do their families and carers, due to uncontrolled seizures.  

“Epilepsy Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to tackle this treatment gap and enable seven in 10 people with epilepsy who could become seizure free to receive optimum care.  This would save the NHS money and afford an improved quality of life for thousands of families up and down the country.  I want to help tackle this issue.  I am happy to be one of the many faces of epilepsy supporters in Scotland and to develop greater public awareness and understanding of epilepsy.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor

 According to Epilepsy Scotland’s 2011 manifesto, an estimated 9,750 people with epilepsy could become seizure free if their condition was better managed.  This would save the NHS around £2.36 million a year.

 

 

Simpson Urges Responses to Bus Consultation

Simpson Urges Responses to Bus Consultation

 

Scottish Labour MSP Iain Grey has launched the Bus Regulation (Scotland) Bill, proposing a series of changes to way bus services are run in Scotland.

The Members’ Bill aims to give transport authorities greater power over how bus services are run, including a new franchising power to tender contracts for profitable and non-profitable routes together, without seeking ministers’ consent or having to “demonstrate market failure”.  The Bill proposes a power for the Traffic Commissioner to penalise operators where franchise agreements are broken.

The proposal is now out for consultation until the end of August and is being distributed to constituents, community and other interest groups, as well as bus industry bodies and operators.

Dr Richard Simpson, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife said:

“Bus services form an integral part of our daily lives, allowing us to access local services and support the local economy. Whilst 20% of Scots are thought to be without access to a car it is vital we protect these services and the freedom they allow us.

I believe some of the most important stake holders in bus services are those who use and rely upon them regularly, and therefore I’m hoping many of you will go ahead to take part in the consultation.”

Iain Gray MSP, said:

“I speak with many constituents who are rightly angry when local bus services are cut, but feel powerless when councils tell them it’s down to a commercial decision by the operator.

“My Bill aims to give more power to local transport authorities, by giving them a greater say in how services are delivered in their area beyond the most basic terms. At the moment, the system makes it too easy for operators to walk away from even those services they are paid to deliver, and when they do, it’s communities that suffer.

“Following recent bad experiences with bus services in my own East Lothian constituency, and several other areas across Scotland, I believe the time is right for this proposal. The current market-driven set-up is letting too many people down and this needs to change.

“There is a growing awareness that there are five times as many bus journeys as rail in Scotland, yet rail gets more attention and more public funding.  I believe there is support in Parliament for this proposal to be debated, and I look forward to the responses to my consultation contributing to that debate.”

In order to respond to the consultation, or to view the document in full, see http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_MembersBills/Final_consultation_Regulation_of_Bus_Bill_S4.pdf, or contact the office of Iain Gray at alan.mackenzie@scottish.parliament.uk, or on 0131 348 5901.
ENDS

Notes for editors:

Bus Regulation Bill – Executive Summary

–    Bill aims to reverse long-term decline in bus industry by improving services and increasing passenger journeys

–    Presently authorities fund services with little say in how they are run

–    Will give more power to local transport authorities to decide how services are run locally, including on frequency and fares

–    Powers will also include ability to ‘bundle’ profitable and unprofitable routes to be franchised together

–    Local authority fleets might also be used to provide socially useful services where there are gaps in provision

–    Role of Traffic Commissioner in Scotland will also be strengthened to impose tougher financial penalties on operators breaking terms of franchises

For further information, please contact alan.mackenzie@scottish.parliament.uk, or on 0131 348 5901.