Rise in children using mental health services
Numbers of children and young people using mental health services rises by 30 per cent in two years
Children at computer - Fotolia
There has been a 30 per cent rise in children and young people using mental health services over the last two years, new figures show.
Official figures also stated the number of psychologists working in child and adolescent mental health services has more than doubled in the same period.
The Scottish Government has said the figures relate to the fact there is more awareness of mental health and more children are being identified than before.
Speaking to Holyrood, mental health minister Maureen Watt said: “As a result of the younger generation being more open and talking about it, more children and young people are accessing the service.”
Waiting times targets for treatment have been missed across Scotland, with NHS Borders, NHS Fife, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Grampian, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Lothian and NHS Shetland failing to meet an 18 week waiting time target dating from December 2014.
Children’s charities said it required an “urgent response”.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition said a promised additional 150m investment in mental health services represented an uplift of only 0.5 per cent of the NHS budget.
“We know that half of all diagnosable mental health problems start before the age of 14 and 75 per cent by the age of 21,” the spokesperson said.
“As such it is vitally important that we radically improve mental health services and increase investment in these, with an overall aim of ensuring that children and young people get the help they need, when they need it.”
Healthcare Improvement Scotland have said a team was working with mental health teams to improve access and reduce waiting times.
Watt said: “Yes, the availability of CAMHS and quick intervention is patchy over health boards, but that’s why we’ve invested in Health Improvement Scotland helping those health boards meet the targets too, by reconfiguring services or doing whatever is necessary.”
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