‘Triple spend on young people’
Finance secretary Derek Mackay is being asked to triple spending on psychiatric services for young people in his budget next week.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition is calling for him to earmark an additional £100million.
Just over 6%, £54million, of the mental health spend is dedicated to child and adolescent services.
But figures vary dramatically with geography.
NHS Grampian is recorded as spending 0.91% of its mental health budget on children – while Lothian dedicated 9.8%. Highland estimates its spend at 3.7%, Orkney’ 4.1% and Shetland 20.46%.
Kenny Graham from the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition said: “No longer can mental health be viewed as a ‘Cinderella’ service and we must put money behind the rhetoric.” Progress to tackle the discrimination experienced by the gypsy traveller community in Scotland has stagnated, MSPs have heard.
A young campaigner told Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee that the situation was at a “critical point” and urgent action was needed to help travellers access the same opportunities as the settled community.
Davie Donaldson, from the charity Article 12 in Scotland, also renewed criticism of Conservative Moray MP Douglas Ross, who earlier this year apologised for saying his priority as prime minister would be to bring in “tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers”.
Mr Donaldson described examples of “political racism” he had encountered at local authority level, including being told “no one here cares about the tinks” during a community planning meeting in Aberdeenshire after raising the issue of healthcare for the travelling community.
On another occasion, he said he was made aware of an internal e-mail at another council relating to a potential development that a traveller man was planning, in which a senior male told colleagues “don’t help him, he’s a traveller.
“Examples of ‘political racism’ he had encountered”
Give the help to a good, honest man”.
Mr Donaldson told the committee: “That’s the sort of internal stuff we’re getting at local authority level.
“I’m still naive enough to hope that it’s not existing at this sort of level but Douglas Ross really did dash those hopes and I know, on the ground, his comments really did impact on a lot of travellers living in Moray.”
He added that young travellers were forced to hide their ethnicity to access schooling and struggled to find work.