Plea to triple cash as mental health worries hit more pupils
now for a mentally healthy Scotland will benefit us all in the longer term.”
Scotland, unlike other countries in the UK, currently offers no guarantee of access to counselling in schools.
But investment in services for children saves money by intervening before problems escalate, Ms Lochhead said.
“Children and young people need more help,” she added.
“Spending on children and young people’s mental health is less than 0.5 per cent of the total NHS expenditure.”
Ms Lochhead also said that at the moment, people have to ask repeatedly, in different settings, before receiving any help, and even then, they must often wait a long time for it. |
According to the charity, some Integration Joint Boards (IJB), which are responsible for directing health and social care services on behalf of councils and health boards, are making massive cuts to services.
Glasgow IJB is slashing £3.9m from mental health services.
SAMH claimed this accounts for half of its entire programme of savings, although a spokesman for the board disputed this.
Meanwhile, NHS Tayside has cut the amount of funding it passes on to Perth IJB for mental health by 10 per cent, the SAMH document notes.
Ms Lochhead added: “The wellbeing of our country depends on a system that has an ‘Ask Once, Get Help Fast’ approach.”
Scottish Government Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt said: “Mental health is a priority for us, which is clearly shown by our investment of £150m over five years in improving mental health, with additional funding reaching £35m by 2022 for
Three children in every classroom will suffer mental health problems before they are 16.
800 additional mental health workers in key settings like A&Es, GP surgeries, custody suites, and prisons.
“In 2017/18 for the first time NHS investment in mental health will exceed £1bn, and we are working with boards to deliver sustained improvements and to ensure services are designed and delivered in the most efficient way.
“We recognise the importance of giving every child and young person access to emotional and mental wellbeing support in school and we are commencing a review of personal and social education, including counselling in schools.
“We want people to get the right help at the right time, expect recovery, and fully
enjoy their rights, free from discrimination and stigma.
“Whether in schools, workplaces, communities or care facilities, the strategy will see us take forward an initial 40 actions to shape change.”
A spokesman for Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership did not dispute health services in the city face cuts in excess of £3m, but added this was not close to half of the savings – forecast at more than £20m – the partnership is faced with making.
“Given the scale of the financial challenge facing the partnership there is very limited scope for any part of our service to remain unreformed at this time,” he said.