Letter to the media:
As a coalition of organisations that support vulnerable children and young people, many of whom have mental health problems, we share the concerns of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland over a proposed £38 million cut in mental health spending in the Scottish Budget (4th November).
It should be noted that we were already experiencing a mental health emergency in Scotland, even before Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis took hold. These have worsened an already devastating situation for many children and young people, resulting in a perfect storm of challenges.
It therefore beggars belief that, in the face of a mental health tsunami, the Scottish Government is set to cut the mental health budget. Combined with this, an already tight budget will have to stretch even further to keep pace with soaring inflation.
With the resultant personal cost to those concerned and their families, as well to the economy overall, we need to invest more, not less, in our mental health services. The situation we are currently in could potentially lead to a lost generation of vulnerable children and young people who are missing out on the support they vitally need.
To address this, we must ensure our mental health services are protected and would urge the Scottish Government to reconsider these cuts and commit to increase investment, ensuring that our children and young people receive the high-quality care they need when they need it.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition:
Kenny Graham, Falkland House School
Lynn Bell, LOVE Learning
Stephen McGhee, Spark of Genius
Niall Kelly, Young Foundations