Scottish Liberal Democrat mental health spokesperson Emma Walker has today demanded the SNP “boost the CAMHS budget” and support ailing mental health services, after the First Minister faced critical questions from young people on mental provision as part of Youth Link and Children in Scotland’s ‘First Minister’s Question Time Next Generation’.
At the event in Edinburgh, one audience member from West Dunbartonshire asked the First Minister about investment in mental health, saying that “the current system had failed her” and that despite access to the CAMHS system she was not diagnosed until aged 18 by adult services. In her response the First Minister admitted that “on mental health we still don’t do enough of that and we don’t do it well enough”.
At last year’s FMQT Next Generation, Nicola Sturgeon was questioned about her party’s decision to abstain on a vote for mental health councillors in schools.
Emma Walker said:
“Under pressure from Scotland’s young people, the First Minister has admitted Scottish mental health services aren’t up to scratch.
“When she faced questions from young people last year they told her mental health provision wasn’t good enough and she had to act. A year on and the questions are the same and the promises are still being broken.
“Thousands of teenagers have harrowing stories to share about the struggle to get help when they need it and long waits for treatment. The SNP is letting them down.
“You don’t get brownie points for spotting problems if you aren’t doing enough to solve them. The First Minister must boost the CAMHS budget, invest in mental health beds north of Dundee and embed a mental health professional in every GP and A&E in the country to speed up access to treatment.”