GPs and child mental health services have been under huge strain and the Scottish Government must do more to invest in those services to meet demand.Alison Johnstone MSP
Alison Johnstone MSP, Health & Children spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (17 Aug) responded to figures showing four times as many children under 13 were prescribed antidepressants last year as just seven years ago.
The figures, obtained by BBC Scotland, show that last year 252 children aged 12 and under were given antidepressants while in 2009/10 it was 57.
Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:
"Antidepressants are prescribed for a range of conditions, not just depression, so we should be careful how we interpret these figures. What is clear is that the stigma of mental illness has been reducing and so we should expect the rise in the number of young people coming forward to continue. What really matters is that health boards and indeed schools and colleges have the resources to properly respond.
"GPs and child mental health services have been under huge strain and the Scottish Government must do more to invest in those services to meet demand. Ministers are failing to meet the target for young people being treated within 18 weeks of referral.
"Our approach to mental health should be on a par with physical health, and we should support health professionals in their judgements on the best treatments."