Call for children’s mental health services boost

Willie Rennie has called for the money to be used to boost mental health services for children in Scotland. Picture: Greg Macvean

Willie Rennie has called for the money to be used to boost mental health services for children in Scotland. Picture: Greg Macvean

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THE Scottish Government is coming under pressure to boost mental health services for children in Scotland with £25 million of new cash coming from Westminster.

The call by Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie comes as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg prepares to unveil a £250 million boost for mental health services for young people in England which will be part of the Budget on Wednesday.

Mr Rennie said that the £25 million of Barnett consequentials coming to Scotland from the announcement should be used for the same services and condemned SNP ministers in Holyrood for failing to follow the Coalition government’s lead on mental health services last Autumn.

He said: “We have been pushing the Scottish Government to put mental health on the same statutory footing as physical health as has now been done in England but they have refused to listen.

“It is very important, particularly for young people, that the extra funding is passed on to these sorts of services.

“I have a constituent in Fife who 14 year old daughter was severely self harming and it took a year between her first seeing the GP and getting an appointment with a specialist. that is just not acceptable and we need to change this culture of treating mental health services as a Cinderella service.”

Mr Clegg’s announcement will see mental health services boosted by £250 million on top of the £700 million already spent by the NHS in England.

The money will go towards therapy sessions, parenting support for their families, group work, more evidence based therapies and better trained clinicians.

There will also be efforts to bring care closer to home and in their communities, provide help via websites, more control over care and services will be better organised with routine collection of data and recovery rates.

Ahead of his speech Mr Clegg said: “There would be an outcry if a child with diabetes was left to cope without support or treatment. But that’s exactly what’s been happening with young people’s mental health services

“I have heard, time and again, harrowing stories from young people and their families about how they suffered and their condition deteriorated waiting to get the right treatment for serious mental health problems.

“That’s why I am determined to start a seismic shift to revolutionise children’s mental healthcare and end this unacceptable injustice.

“By introducing waiting time standards and committing to talking therapies for children in every region, we are helping to build a fairer society where young people can get the right treatment and support they deserve to live a better life.”

SEE ALSO:

Calls for mental health services investment

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