The Scottish Children's Services Coalition calls for a 'Budget for mental health' as latest waiting time figures highlight that around a third of children and young people are not being seen within the Scottish Government target time.
Writing in The Scotsman, Seona Weir, lead manager Scotland for coalition member, Young Foundations, highlights the long wait faced by many children and young people with mental health problems and the urgent need for greater support.
Kenny Graham, Head of Education at Falkland House School, writes for Friends of the Scotsman on the need for greater action when it comes to addressing the mental health needs of children and young people.
We call on the Scottish Government to increase investment in mental health services for children and young people.
We call for the budget spent on mental health services for children and young people to be tripled in the forthcoming Scottish Budget.
New waiting time figures covering the quarter from April to June 2017 indicate that five of 14 health boards failed to meet a Scottish Government waiting time target for access by children and young people to specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Stuart Jacob, Director of Falkland House School, member of the SCSC, comments on the worrying number of young people contacting the NSPCC's Childline services with suicidal thoughts.
The SCSC calls for urgent action from the Scottish Government to increase investment in mental health services for children and young people. The call comes as half of Scotland's health boards fail to meet a maximum waiting time target.
The SCSC raises concern over a dramatic increase in the number of young people under-21 years of age being prescribed anti-depressants in Scotland. Diagnosis of a mental health problem should not be the only mechanism to trigger support, but it is often only then when interventions take place.
The SCSC strongly supports the findings of the Scottish Youth Parliament’s report, which reveals the scale of the epidemic in mental health problems for young people. Like the Children’s Commissioner, Tam Baillie, we echo the urgent call for a greater focus on the mental health needs of our vulnerable children and young people.