Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP has announced the DBI project will be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds across the four pilot areas.
Currently operating across Lanarkshire, the Borders, Inverness and Aberdeen, it provides support to people aged 18 and over who present to emergency services and primary care in distress or emotional pain.
Specially trained staff help individuals manage difficult emotions and problem situations early on, and come up with a ‘distress plan’ to prevent future crisis.
The DBI programme is part of the Scottish Government’s mental health strategy and has helped almost 3,000 people since it launched two years ago.
Clare Haughey MSP said: “Mental health is an absolute priority for the Scottish Government and our ten-year mental health strategy clearly sets out our vision to address a number of challenges, including the provision of more efficient and effective mental health services and supporting mental health in primary care.
“Our pilot DBI services have already made significant progress over the past two years, so I’m pleased to announce these will now be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds from the summer.
“Early intervention like this is such an important part of how we treat mental and emotional health and the DBI is all about equipping people with the skills and support to manage their own health and to prevent future crisis.”
DBI programme manager Kevin O’Neill said: “It’s fantastic news that the connected, compassionate support which DBI-trained staff provide to those in distress is being extended to 16 and 17-year-olds.
“While this innovative project is still in the pilot phase, the extension is also testimony to the hard work and commitment of health, police and Scottish Ambulance Service staff, as well as the other organisations providing support.”

Photo caption: Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey visited the DBI project last year.