Kids Wait 2 Years For Mental Health Help

16 September 2016, 14:52

Some children and young people are waiting more than two years for mental health treatment, NHS figures have shown.

A child waited for 96 weeks for child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) treatment in NHS Tayside, statistics obtained by the Liberal Democrats show.

Another patient waited 91 weeks in Fife and a few children have waited more than 24 months in Lothian every year since 2013/14.

Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has called for CAMHS funding to be doubled, the creation of two new treatment centres in Aberdeen and Inverness, more perinatal mental health care and an expansion of mental health provision in primary care.

He said: "These shocking cases underline the need for a step change in the way that we support mental health services in Scotland, and CAMHS in particular.

"No child should be left stranded on a waiting list for two years. As a parent, I cannot imagine what it would be like to see your child struggling for that length of time without getting the help they needed.

"Doubling the resources that we put into CAMHS would not be a silver bullet for mental health services. But it is entirely necessary and would be a positive start.

"Scotland's previous mental health strategy expired at the end of last year and the allocation of tens of millions of pounds of funding for mental health services has been delayed as a result.

"This is further proof that a step change in how we treat mental health is long overdue.''