Men­tal health task­force chair has stepped down over health battle


The chair of a task­force l o o k i n g i n t o h o w t o i mprove men­tal health c a r e f o r c h i l d r e n a n d young peo­ple in Scot­land has left the post.

Dr Dame Denise Coia said she had stepped down from the role be­cause of ill­ness and had made the de­ci­sion “with re­gret”.

She stressed the im­por­tance of the work of the Chil­dren and Young Peo­ple’s Men­tal Health Task­force, say­ing she hoped it would go on to pro­vide a “blue­print for de­liv­er­ing a new ap­proach” to men­tal health ser­vices for young peo­ple.

The S c ot t i s h Gov­ern­ment and the lo­cal au­thor­ity group Cosla jointly es­tab­lished the body in June last year amid con­cern over the wait­ing times for Child and Ado­les­cent Men­tal Health Ser vices ( CAMHS) and the num­ber of re­fer­rals be­ing re­jected.

It pro­duced a set of ini­tial rec­om­men­da­tions in Septem­ber. Dame Denise – a for­mer chair of Health­care Im­prove­ment Scot­land – said then the fo­cus of work “must be on stronger preven­tion and early in­ter­ven­tion”.

How­ever, she said yes­ter­day: “It is with re­gret that due to ill­ness I have had to step down from my role as chair.”

0 Dr Dame Denise Coia told of her re­gret

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