More children getting help from mental health services

Unhappy girl Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The number of children and young people using services has risen by nearly a third

More children and young people in Scotland are being seen by mental health professionals.

New statistics show the number using services has risen by nearly a third in the last two years.

There were 4,642 children and young people seen in the quarter ending June 2016, compared to 3,560 in the same period in 2014. That was a rise of 30%.

A team led by Health Improvement Scotland is working in some of the board areas with the longest waits.

For adult psychological therapies, there were 12,779 people seen in the quarter, with 81.2% seen within 18 weeks.

New strategy

Workforce statistics also show the number of psychologists working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) has more than doubled since 2007.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said: "The continued and substantial increase in demand for child and adolescent mental health services clearly show that in the past there were far too many children who were unseen and whose need was unmet for far too long.

"To respond to this we have doubled the number of psychologists working in CAMHS. We are also investing an additional £150m over five years, and will be publishing a new mental health strategy at the end of the year.

"I have been clear with boards that any falls in performance towards the challenging 90% target, or children experiencing long waits, is simply not good enough."

A spokesman for Healthcare Improvement Scotland said a team was working with mental health teams to improve access and reduce waiting times.

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