Labour: Mental health delays are intolerable
More than 14,000 young people have waited longer than the 18-week target for mental health treatment since Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister, analysis shows. In the same period, more than 1,000 young people have waited more than a year for treatment. The Scottish Government brought in the 18-week target for referral to treatment from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in December, 2014, a month after Ms Sturgeon was appointed to the top job. The analysis shows that, since her appointment, 14,345 children and young people have waited longer than 18 weeks for mental health treatment and 1,185 have waited more than ayear. The Labour analysis of NHS Scotland statistics follows a report from the Auditor General and Accounts Commission calling for a “step change” in mental health services for children and young people. Scottish Labour health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: “More and more young people are coming forward to seek treatment for their mental health problems as the stigma surrounding the topic diminishes in our society. “Sadly, thousands of these brave young people who have sought help have had to endure intolerable waits for treatment.” Mental health minister Clare Haughey said that £100m was being targeted by the Scottish Government on improving support for young people.