Children needing mental health help wait 2.5 million days more than they should

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today expressed upset at new figures which reveal young people across Scotland have collectively endured waits of 2.5 million days over and above the 18-week waiting time target for mental health treatment.

Freedom of information requests submitted by the Scottish Liberal Democrats to each health board in Scotland revealed children and young people awaiting CAMHS treatment waited a cumulative total of more 2,486,265 days on top of the target.

Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:

"Children needing mental health help in Scotland have been left waiting 2.5 million more days than they should have. That's a scandal.

"It's widely acknowledged that the next major public health problem coming down the tracks will take the form of mental health problems and these statistics prove we're not ready.

"The system is under immense strain. For years vulnerable children across Scotland have been subjected to harrowing long waits for help. The pandemic and the backlog in appointments it has caused will only make this mountain harder to climb. 

"We desperately need to see transformational investment in Scotland's mental health services. Our NHS staff do an incredible job, but they need more money, staff and resources behind them to make sure this runs smoothly and no one falls through the gaps. 

"Behind each of these numbers is a family wracked with worry about a young person who is not doing well. The government has a duty to invest in this and ensure they get help when they ask for it not many months later."

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