Live Survey – Experiences of Mental Health Services in Tayside.

If you would like to share your feedback, the survey can be completed online at

Dr. David Strang with a copy of “Trust and Respect” report.

People with lived experience of mental health services, and their families, have launched a survey which they hope will offer insight into the current state of mental health services in Tayside. The Tayside public are being invited to complete the survey. This comes one year after the publication of Dr Strang’s Trust and Respect Report’ – an independent report on mental health services in the region which made 51 recommendations for change. The many failings, evidenced in the report were accepted by NHS Tayside – who gave assurance that things would change. Grant Archibald, Chief Executive was particularly vocal, saying his “reputation would be judged, not by what I say, but by what I do”. NHS Tayside has produced an action plan entitled ‘Living Life Well, A Lifelong approach to Mental Health in Tayside’ which will be the blueprint for the implementation of a redesign and improvement programme for mental health and wellbeing in Tayside, over a 5 year period (2019-2024).

Dr Strang’s Trust and Respect Report’, was the conclusion of the long overdue Independent Inquiry into Mental Health Services, which took place following the tireless lobbying of politicians by the families of loved ones lost to suicide whilst in the care of NHS Tayside.  Fifty two recommendations were made within Dr Strang’s report to ensure that people requiring help for mental health difficulties, their families and loved ones, receive the help they require, and that the services should meet the needs of people they are there to serve.

The survey has been put together by a collaboration, which includes PLUS Perth and Angus Voice and members of the Stakeholder Participation Group (SPG).  The SPG has been integral to the findings of Dr David Strang’s inquiry report, and is held in high regard as an influential forum by Scottish Government ministers.

Susan Scott, manager of PLUS Perth said;

“A year has passed since Dr Strang’s made his recommendations, and now the final draft of the Tayside Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy ‘Living Life Well’ has been published, it is time to ask people ‘on the ground’ how things are going”.  The survey is completely anonymous, very important, as people often worry about making comment regards their treatment that may result in negatively affecting their care.

A ‘Collective Service User Statementin the ‘Living Life Well strategy lists comments made by service users, their families and carers on how they wish to be treated. This includes statements such as; I would like medication to be a last resort, and “I would like to be treated as close to home and my community wherever possible”. It is intended that the Strategy will develop as a ‘statement of promise’ to people with lived experience, so that their wishes will be honoured.

“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”.

Some questions in the survey are focussed on trust and respect, and whether patients feel safe in hospital. There are also questions on how informed people feel over treatment decisions such as the prescribing of medication, and whether the risk of side effects such as diabetes and weight gain, which have the potential for devastating effects on people’s lives, have been discussed.

Those involved in getting the survey out are eager to find out how the people of Tayside are finding mental health services. Are things getting better? If not, where are the deficiencies? At the very least it will provide a base line, whereby the success of NHS Tayside can be measured as the new service changes are implemented in the months and years to come.

“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. Furthermore, NHS Tayside have described the “Living Life Well” strategy as a “living document,” and this feedback will enable the Mental Health Programme Board to make real-time adjustments based on the views of the community, which is a crucial component of the Strang Report”.

For a hard copy survey please contact PLUS Perth on 01738 626242 or email  The survey will close on Sunday 11th April.

Scottish Premiere of Medicating Normal

featured image


We hope you are well. 

Let this post serve as your formal invitation to the upcoming virtual Scottish premiere of Medicating Normal-The Film on Thursday, October 8, 2020, at 3:00 pm BST. This FREE event is being presented by PLUS Perth, Angus Voices and Dundee Healthy Minds Network. Medicating Normal is a new, unreleased documentary that examines the current paradigm of mental health treatment including overdiagnosis, overprescribing and polypharmacy. 

Details & Register for a Ticket:


3:00 pm BST: Short Welcome and Virtual Screening of the film, Medicating Normal, 76-minute run time

4:15 pm BST: Post-Screening Community Discussion 

The post-screening community discussion panelists include Beverley Thomson, writer, speaker and researcher, key area antidepressants; Dr. Dan Fisher, psychiatrist and person with lived experience of recovery from schizophrenia; Dr. Danius Puras, Professor of Child Psychiatry and Public Mental Health at Vilnius University; and Angela Peacock, MSW, film subject.

5:15 pm BST: Closing Remarks


Trailer and Website:

Endorsement: Renowned Stanford University psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke praised the film saying: “Medicating Normal dares to challenge prevailing myths about how psychotropic medications work, or fail to, in our ongoing struggle to treat mental illness. It promises to spark a long-overdue national conversation on the growing problem of overprescribing.” 

We hope you can attend. Please feel free to share this invitation with others! 

Thank you! 

PLUS Perth

Angus Voices

Dundee Healthy Minds Network

Medicating Normal-The Film 

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020


Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme is kindness.

Please visit for more info

Why kindness?
One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times.  
We have learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope.
The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing.
Beyond ourselves, our report reveals how inequality is rising in our society and its harmful effects on our health.  
Life expectancy is falling for the poorest for the first time in 100 years. As child poverty rises, children and young people in the poorest parts of our country are two to three times more likely to experience poor mental health than those in the richest.  
After the 2008 credit crunch it was the most vulnerable in our communities who experienced the severest consequences of austerity, with devastating effects on their mental and physical health. This not the hallmark of a kind society.  
We must not make the same mistakes after this pandemic.”