Mental Health Awareness Week

Motion S4M-09955: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/05/2014
Mental Health Awareness Week

That the Parliament supports Mental Health Awareness Week from 12 to 18 May 2014; notes that the theme of this year’s week is anxiety, one of the leading causes of mental ill-health in the world; understands that one in four people in Scotland will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives; considers that people with mental health problems continue to face stigma and discrimination and experience a high rate of unemployment, and supports the objectives of the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), which it considers provides support every day to people with mental health problems and works hard to promote positive mental health throughout Scotland.

Action on Brain Injury Week

Motion S4M-09956: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/05/2014
Action on Brain Injury Week

That the Parliament notes that Action on Brain Injury Week runs from 12 to 18 May 2014; congratulates the charity, Headway, and commends what it sees as the hard work that it does at its centres in Grampian, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Forth Valley, Glasgow, Highland, North Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, South Lanarkshire and Tayside; notes that the event, Hats for Headway, which is scheduled to take place on 16 May in order to raise funds for Headway, invites people to wear a hat for the day in return for donations, and hopes that MSPs will participate in this; further notes the “Don’t cut me out” campaign during Action on Brain Injury Week, which aims to increase awareness of the plight of individuals and families that are affected by brain injury, whose access to vital support services it considers is being reduced as a result of funding cuts and welfare reforms; recognises the work done by the group, Momentum, in helping brain injury patients return to work, and calls on NHS boards and local authorities to work with the charities that support those affected by brain injury.

Dr Richard Simpson MSP backs campaign to improve access to MS medicines

Dr Richard Simpson MSP has pledged to help ensure that all people living with MS in Scotland have better access to treatments, regardless of where they live.

This comes as the MS Society revealed that people with MS often face significant barriers in accessing licensed treatments, the information to decide what is right for them and the specialists who can help. 

This MS Week (28 April – 4 May) the MS Society launched its new campaign Treat Me Right. The charity’s campaign calls on decision-makers and the MS community to tackle the barriers in the way of people getting the right treatment at the right time.

Backing the campaign Dr Richard Simpson MSP said, “I’m pleased to be able to show my support for this important campaign. MS affects many of my constituents and it is unacceptable that licensed treatments that could help people with the condition should be out of reach. I will continue to work with my constituents, fellow MSPs and organisations to drive this campaign forward.”

Stewart Long, Interim Director for the MS Society in Scotland said, “There are over 11,000 people living with MS in Scotland and it is essential that people living with the condition can access the right treatments, services and support. Unfortunately, many people are in the dark about or unable to access medicines that could potentially help manage their condition. This needs to change. We have been delighted by the support we have received from MSPs for our Treat Me Right campaign. By working together we can make that change happen”.




About the Treat Me Right campaign

MS Society research has found that:

–       One in five people surveyed with relapsing MS had not seen their neurologist in the last 12 months, with one in 10 not having seen one in over two years

–       One in five people surveyed with relapsing MS had not heard of any disease-modifying medicines or had heard of only one

–       People are more than twice as likely to be taking a disease-modifying medicine if they routinely see a neurologist or MS nurse

–       Only one in every 50 people with MS is taking one of two licensed treatments for managing MS symptoms


The MS Society has warned that if nothing is done to improve access to treatments, thousands could be worse off as they struggle to manage their symptoms or continue to face serious and debilitating relapses – leaving them unable to work or more reliant on expensive NHS services.


During MS Week 2014 (28 April – 4 May), the charity is launching the Treat Me Right campaign and calling for:


  1. All licensed MS treatments are approved and made available on the NHS to everyone who needs them and is eligible
  2. Everyone with MS is invited for regular reviews of their treatment and care by MS specialists
  3. In light of new DMD options becoming available, people with relapsing MS are informed about all their option and invited to discuss them with a specialist
  4. All people with MS feel informed about their options and supported to be equal partners in decision-making about their care


More details about the campaign and how to support it can be found at


About MS and the MS Society


  • The MS Society is the leading national charity for people with MS (
  • We’re funding research and fighting for better treatment and care to help people with MS take back control.We’ve already made important breakthroughs, and we’re now at the start of a generation of MS research that holds incredible promise
  • More than 100,000 people live with MS in the UK and more than 10,000 people live with MS in Scotland
  • Most people are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s
  • MS affects almost three times as many women as men
  • MS can get steadily worse, or remain unpredictable throughout your life – one day you can be fine, the next you might lose your sight or be unable to move
  • The MS Society has a freephone helpline – 0808 800 8000