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Minister for Mental Health

Current role holder: Maureen Watt MSP

Maureen Watt MSP

Maureen Watt was appointed Minister for Mental Health in May 2016.


Specific responsibilities are:

  • adult support and protection
  • autism, sensory impairment and learning difficulties
  • dementia
  • mental health
  • Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (safeguards the rights of people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions)
  • survivors of childhood abuse
  • The State Hospital (Carstairs)


She was born in Aberdeen and is from a farming background. She studied both at the University of Strathclyde and at the University of Birmingham. Maureen was a secondary school teacher in Social Studies in England before moving back to Scotland to work in the oil sector.

She entered the Scottish Parliament in April 2006 as a regional MSP for North East Scotland and was the first MSP to take the oath in Doric as well as English. She served as Minister for Schools and Skills in the first ever SNP Government between 2007 and 2009 and as convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Rural Affairs and Environment Committee between 2009 and the elections in 2011. She was appointed as Minister for Public Health in November 2014.