Responding to new mental health waiting times statistics for the start of 2021 showing a record 2,452 children and 5,799 adults waiting more than year for treatment, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"There were already a record number of children waiting over a year for treatment at the outset of the pandemic. Now that number has gone up a further 30% since Christmas alone.
"A year feels like a lifetime if you are waiting for help. Problems that can start small become crises. Frontline staff are working tirelessly but there aren't enough of them. Vacancies are common but the number of psychiatrists in specialist training to work with young people hasn't changed.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats led the Parliament in declaring a mental health crisis, against the wishes of the government, and secured £120 million more for mental health this year. The government now needs to show how that financial boost is being deployed to bring down these terrible waits.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats want to get you fast access to help whenever you need it through a serious expansion of the mental health workforce. The Scottish Government needs to set out when waits over a year will cease and when the 18-week target will be met for the first time ever."