Rennie: SNP record on mental health is a silent scandal

Speaking at the Scottish Liberal Democrat Autumn conference, Willie Rennie MSP said:

"Scotland is on the wrong track on mental health.

Over the summer I met a farmer who told me about the mental health problems he was experiencing and the time he had to wait to get treatment and support.

We all know that he is not alone. In fact, there are too many like him who don’t get the help they need on time.

The First Minister has told me for three years that it’s a priority for her government. But each year the waits get longer.

A quarter of adults don’t get treatment in the target time.

And it is worse for children. Take the figures this week – the worst waits for young people on record.

Just 67.8% of children met the 18-week target.

That’s down and down from last year.

It’s even worse in Forth Valley, Grampian and the Borders.

And in Tayside only a third of young people get treated on time.

This is having a devastating impact. It’s got to change.

I’ve seen the benefits of good mental health treatment.

I’ve met the people whose lives have taken a turn for the better.

I’ve seen the potential and the opportunity.

Liberal Democrats have laid out clear plans to end the scandal of long waits and long journeys for treatment: doubling the CAMHS budget; establishing mental health beds north of Dundee;and putting mental health practitioners capable of treating people in every GP surgery and A&E in the country.

That’s how we do more.

That’s how we speak up.

We need to do more.

For too many they suffer in silence.

The Government’s record on mental health is nothing short of a silent scandal."

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