The growing mental health crisis among young people in Scotland is “totally unacceptable”, Graham Simpson, MSP for Central Scotland has said.
New statistics from Public Health Scotland show that over 2,000 youngsters had been waiting for over a year to begin vital mental health treatment at the end of March.
The SNP are continuing to miss their target of guaranteeing 90 per cent of young people seeking mental health treatment will be seen within 18 weeks. In the latest statistics, only 72.7 per cent of patients were seen within that timeframe.
At the end of March, 2,012 children and young people were waiting over a year to be seen, which is a 227 per cent increase since prior to the pandemic in February 2020 when 614 patients were waiting over a year for mental health support.
Scottish Conservative MSP Graham Simpson says the Covid crisis and ongoing lockdowns have heightened mental health issues among young people and has urged SNP Ministers to give health boards every resource they need to see patients as quickly as possible.
Graham Simpson, MSP for Central Scotland said: “These figures are appalling and underline the scale of the mental health crisis engulfing children and young people across Scotland.
“Prior to the pandemic, the SNP’s record on ensuring vulnerable youngsters were seen as quickly as possible was simply unacceptable. The Covid crisis and ongoing lockdown restrictions have only increased mental health issues among our young people and this means SNP Ministers must get a grip of this challenge now.
“We need an urgent plan from SNP Ministers to guarantee that vulnerable young people will be seen as quickly as possible and health boards 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 thousands of young people waiting for vital mental health support, this is a totally unacceptable situation which cannot be allowed to continue.”