The 1980's saw the Board initiate services which represented new approaches to healing, care in the community in these categories. Taking its cue from publications such as the ‘Scottish Health Authorities Priorities for the 80s’ which focused on the need to develop and expand provision for services for elderly dementia sufferers, people with learning disabilities and those with mental health needs. The Board worked with Health boards, and social work departments to establish provisions to enable people with learning disabilities to be transferred from hospitals to homes in the community.  

The Board further identified the increasing problems of drug misuse necessitating the need to develop a range of health education, day and residential programmes, and family counselling services. Rainbow House (now CrossReach Residential Abstinence Recovery Service) opened in 1985 providing counselling, treatment, educational courses and ancillary residential accommodation. Additionally counselling services specialising in post-natal depression began to be offered from Simpson House in 1987.

The first specialist dementia care home in Scotland was established by the Board at Williamwood in 1983. The other elderly care services continued to operate at full capacity taking in increasing numbers of 85-100 year olds with more complex care needs, meaning many of the existing homes were refurbished to accommodate them. Meanwhile the provision of children’s services reduced dramatically as local authorities moved away from residential care models. The passing of the Criminal Justice Act 1980 the Board was able to gain funding for the establishment of the Dick Stewart Hostels to accommodation and counselling services to 6 women and 8 men.