As a coalition whose members deliver specialist care and education services for children and young people with complex needs, we were delighted that the Scottish Government is to provide an additional £15 million to improve mental health services for these groups.
Scottish Government recognition of the rising numbers of children and young people diagnosed with mental health issues is to be welcomed and this additional funding will be hugely beneficial, set as it is against a background of cuts to mental health services and increased waiting time figures.
However, there is much still to be done and we would urge that the government does more to address the needs of children who require secure inpatient care and treatment.
Currently there is no such provision in Scotland for those children and young people with mental health conditions.
This means vulnerable children and young people are being treated in unsuitable adult or paediatric wards, or being sent miles away from their families to England.
This practice is clearly a relic of outdated attitudes towards mental health and is a major concern for all organisations upholding the rights of the child in Scotland.
Scotland aims to lead the way in promoting the wellbeing of children and £15m will translate into improved mental health services, preventing many families from facing crisis.
Let us now go that extra mile and ensure that we have a range of services available in Scotland for those who so vitally need it.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition comprising:
Spark of Genius
Who Cares? Scotland
Falkland House School