Wed 2 Dec, 2020

We don’t yet know the full mental health impact of the lockdown but it is sadly safe to assume that demand for support will only increase Ross Greer

The Scottish Greens have called for more support for mental health services, after figures released by Public Health Scotland have revealed that the number of children and young people who starting treatment at CAMHS has risen by 3.3% since the previous year and that the number being seen within the 18-week standard has fallen by 3.9% [1].

Meanwhile, despite warnings about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental health, the number of people starting psychological therapies treatment fell by 15.1% since the previous year, while the proportion of people who started their treatment within the 18 weeks standard also fell by 4.5% [2].

Responding, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said:

“These figures emphasise the incredible challenge faced by our mental health services and more importantly, by young people facing mental health challenges, who far too often are left on a waiting list for so long that a manageable issue become a a crisis before they start to receive support.

“Mental health services were struggling to meet demand before the pandemic, so it’s extremely worrying that, despite the fact that the number of people accessing treatment fell last year, waiting times are still getting worse.

“Our young people still face unacceptable waits for essential treatment. Demand for CAMHS is now back at pre-pandemic levels and has increased from last year. We don’t yet know the full mental health impact of the lockdown but it is sadly safe to assume that demand for support will only increase. Schools are often the first place young people will go for support but they have been severely disrupted this year, so now more than ever we need well-staffed and properly resourced services so that young people can access psychological therapies when and where they need them.”

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