Letter to Editor: Cash for CAMHS

Dear Editor

As a coalition whose members deliver specialist care and education services for children and young people with complex needs, we have launched a petition calling on the Scottish Government to use the c. £25m of annual additional health spending arising from the UK Government Budget to improve mental health services for vulnerable children and young people in Scotland.

At the moment mental health services in Scotland are at breaking point, with the number of referrals for specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) increasing by 60% over the last two years. This is putting medical professionals under incredible pressure.

We do not dispute that our health professionals do fantastic work to help people suffering from mental ill health, but a lack of resources in the face of a dramatically increased demand means that we are often asking medical staff to work with one hand tied behind their back.

Due to a lack of adequate provision hundreds of vulnerable children and young people are being treated in unsuitable adult or paediatric wards, or being sent miles away from their families. And half of Scotland’s Health Boards are failing to meet waiting time targets to access CAMHS that came into force at the end of last year.
We would urge people to get behind the campaign and sign the petition, encouraging the Scottish Government to go that extra mile and ensure the mental health services many young people in Scotland so desperately need are being provided.

The petition is available to sign on the 38 Degrees website at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/investinmentalhealthscot

Yours faithfully

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition comprising:

Sophie Pilgrim, Director, Kindred Scotland
Tom McGhee, Managing Director, Spark of Genius
Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive, Who Cares? Scotland
Stuart Jacob, Director, Falkland House School
Niall Kelly, Managing Director, Young Foundations