The growing mental health crisis among young people across the Forth Valley area, including Stirling, is “totally unacceptable”, MSP Dean Lockhart has said.
New statistics from Public Health Scotland show that over 200 young people in the Forth Valley Health Board area and over 2,000 across Scotland had been waiting for over a year to begin vital mental health treatment at the end of March this year.
As of March this year 363 of the 935 young people were on the waiting list for 0-18 weeks, 251 for 19-35 weeks, 107 for 36-52 weeks and 214 for over 52 weeks.
The SNP Government set a target that 90 per cent of young people seeking mental health treatment will be seen within 18 weeks. In March 2021 26 young people received an appointment within the first 18 weeks in the Forth Valley area.
At the end of March, 214 children and young people in the FV area were waiting over a year to be seen. A year ago, in March 2020 there were none.
The Covid crisis and ongoing lockdowns have heightened mental health issues among young people. The Scottish Conservatives have urged SNP Ministers to give health boards every resource they need to see patients as quickly as possible.
Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Dean Lockhart said:
“These figures are appalling and underline the scale of the mental health crisis engulfing children and young people across Stirling and the Forth Valley area.
“Prior to the pandemic, the SNP’s record on ensuring vulnerable youngsters were seen as quickly as possible was already awful. The Covid crisis and ongoing lockdown restrictions have only increased mental health issues among our young people but this SNP Government has completely failed to tackle the problem and it has got far worse.
“We need an urgent plan from SNP Ministers to guarantee that vulnerable young people will be seen as quickly as possible and our health board is given every resource they need to tackle mental health.
“The Scottish Conservatives will continue to push for ten per cent of the Scottish health budget to be spent directly supporting mental health services.
“For every young person and their families waiting for vital mental health support across Stirling this is a totally unacceptable situation which cannot be allowed to continue.”
Notes: The figures are here: https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/conditions-and-diseases/mental-health/child-and-adolescent-mental-health-services-camhs-waiting-times/