Mental Health Services

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th December 2018.

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Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

I am always happy to receive support on mental health from the Liberal Democrats.

School counsellors are not the only resource that will be available to children and young people. We will roll out training for trainers in mental health issues and in mental health first aid to each local authority by the end of the 2019-20 academic year, so that teachers will feel better equipped to assist children. The task force has recommended that we also look at community wellbeing centres. I was at one of those this morning, when I visited the Junction—Mr Cole-Hamilton may be aware of that centre. That is a fantastic resource that children and young people can drop into to receive counselling and support, including peer support, without an appointment.

School counsellors are part of a package of layered support that includes the additional 250 school nurses, who will focus on physical and mental health wellbeing, and we envisage that there will be fewer referrals to CAMHS because people will have alternatives. Therefore, children who require specialist services will have much more rapid access to the services that they need.

I hope that that reassures Alex Cole-Hamilton.