We must do more on mental health

Last year at a local advice surgery, I met a Mum who was at enormously worries about her daughter.

She had been experiencing mental ill health, and self-harming.

But she was not getting the support that she needed from the health service.

It had taken a year for her to see a specialist.

As a parent myself, I can only imagine how this felt.

12 months must have seemed like a lifetime.

We know that mental health professionals are working incredibly hard but the Scottish Government are not giving them the help they need to meet waiting times targets.

The share of the NHS budget we spend treating mental ill health has fallen every year since 2009.

Last year, the SNP announced £150m in new funding for mental health services.

This was a welcome step in the right direction.

But new figures show that nearly half of the funding is yet to be allocated because Scotland’s new mental health strategy is not ready.

The old one expired at the end of last year but has not been replaced.

This is just not good enough.

It takes the SNP’s complacency over mental ill health to new levels.

Liberal Democrats have been clear that we need a step change in the way that we treat mental ill health in Scotland.

I want to see an end to the anxious waits that my constituent and her daughter faced.

They should be a thing of the past.

That is why Liberal Democrats will double funding for CAMHS, embed 960 new mental health professionals with GPs and put new mental health support in A&E departments.

People struggling with mental ill health cannot wait on the SNP any longer.