Young people waiting too long for mental health support

  • It has been revealed that over a fifth of young people suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues have to wait a long time before treatment due to boards failing to meet waiting time targets. /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    Current statistics show that 78.9% of young people under 18 needing children and adolescent mental health services were seen within the Scottish Government's 18-week target within the first sector of this year, reports the Scotsman.

    Figures published by ISD Scotland show that 83% of adults were treated within the same time frame.

    These statistics are a "national scandal", according to Dr Richard Simpson MSP, Labour's public and mental health spokesman.

    "I know from my own experience as a practitioner that the longer vulnerable patients, especially children, wait for treatment in mental health services, the more likely it is their condition will worsen."

    Vulnerable patients also face a postcode lottery, as young people in Lothian have average waits of 17 weeks, which is nearly three times longer than patients in Glasgow.

    The government announced an extra £85 million of funding for mental health on Sunday which it hopes will slash rising waiting times.

    Jamie Hepburn, minister for sport, health improvement and mental health, said: "We have already invested a significant amount in mental health services, leading to record levels of specialists. The £100m fund we have recently announced will be key when it comes to making the further improvements we need. Through this, we will be able to extend capacity, improve access to services and promote innovation and new ways of treating people."

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