Responding to the announcement by Nicola sturgeon of £54 million in funding for mental health services by the Scottish Government, Sophie Pilgrim from the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition commented:
“This funding of £54 million, a large part of which will be used to address the needs of children and young people, is gratefully appreciated, and comes against a background of greatly increasing demand for services.
“As an organisation we have been campaigning for some to ensure the levels of investment for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) match those of physical health, achieving ‘parity of esteem’ and it is great to see a recognition of this and more funding being put into these services.
“However, it should be noted that only 0.45 per cent of NHS Scotland expenditure is spent on CAMHS, amounting to 5.56 per cent of the total mental health budget.
“More work still needs to be done, and the most recent figures indicate that more than half of our Health Boards are failing to meet an 18-week waiting time target dating from December 2014 for treatment for mental health conditions and we are also witnessing an increasing number of children and young people being sent to non-specialist adult and paediatric wards for treatment.
“As we know, half of all diagnosable mental health conditions start before the age of 14 and 75 per cent by the age of 21. What is required is early intervention and preventative measures to ensure that we can address these problems at the right time, rather than wait until people require more intensive - and expensive - treatment further down the line.
“In the run up to the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections we urge all the political parties to join with us in calling for the greater resourcing for our mental health services.”
It campaigns for the delivery of high-quality, properly resourced services for vulnerable children and young people. This is so that they get best possible care and support, tailored to their individual needs and allowing them to achieve their full potential.
SCSC members deliver specialist care and education services to vulnerable children and young people with complex needs, such as those with learning difficulties and learning disabilities, as well as direct help and support to their families. They also provide independent advocacy, advice and representation to children and young people with care experience.
2. Further information about the SCSC can be found at www.thescsc.org.uk.