The Scottish Conservatives have criticised the SNP for their complacent record on mental health services which is failing thousands of young people.
As Mental Health Awareness Week begins it is clearer than ever that, under the SNP, mental health services are falling far short of the needs of young people in particular, with waiting times for mental health still much longer their own target.
The latest statistics show that the number of young people referred to mental health services in Scotland last year was almost 10,000, the highest ever.
However, only 7 out of 10 children and young people are being seen within 18 weeks and only half of those children and young people started their treatment within 11 weeks.
Only five health boards currently meet the national target, where 90 per cent of children and young people should start treatment within 18 weeks of referral.
Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative mental health spokesman, has said that the SNP’s complacency is ‘staggering’ and they must ensure that people can access mental health services when need them.
Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative mental health spokesman said:
“Mental Health Awareness Week is an important time for us all to think about our own mental health, about those around us and how we can help anyone suffering from mental ill-health.
“The numbers of young people referred to mental health services are increasing, yet many of them to wait for treatment far longer than they should.
“Only 73 per cent of young people are currently being seen within the 18 week target, well short of the 90 per cent it should be.
“The SNP’s complacency is staggering and their inability to improve waiting times is failing young people
“The SNP has got to up its game and make sure everyone has access to mental health services, when they need them.”
Notes to editors
CAMHS in Scotland: Waiting Times, Service Demand, and Workforce - During October to December 2018:
- Over seven out of ten (72.8%) children and young people were seen within 18 weeks,
- Half of the children and young people seen, started their treatment within 11 weeks.
- Five NHS Boards (NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, NHS Orkney, NHS Shetland and NHS Western Isles) met the standard, where 90% of children and young people should start treatment within 18 weeks of referral.
- 9,604 children and young people were referred to CAMHS in Scotland which is an increase from the previous quarter (7,509) and the same quarter ending December 2017 (9,050).
5 March 2019 - link
Mental health awareness week can be found here - https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week