The Distress Brief Intervention approach emerged from the Scottish Government’s work on the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health strategies. [1] [2]

The need to improve the response to people presenting in distress has been strongly advocated by people who have experience of distress – and by front line service providers and is supported through a review of available literature. [3]

This led to the Scottish Government establishing a pilot DBI programme, which is hosted by Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire (H&SCNL) and South Lanarkshire Health & Social Care Partnership (SLH&SCP).

The DBI approach is initially being piloted over 53-months (November 2016 to March 2021) in four sites across Scotland: 1. Penumbra in Aberdeen, 2. Support in Mind in Inverness, 3. NHS Borders Joint Mental Health Service 4. North & South Lanarkshire as above.

The new Mental Health Strategy for Scotland 2017 – 2027 reaffirms the commitment to DBI through the inclusion of action 11, which aims to “complete an evaluation of the Distress Brief Intervention Programme by 2021 and work to implement the findings from that evaluation“. [4]