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 thank Annie Wells for her questions and I am grateful for her support in improving mental health care across our country.

This morning, the children and young people’s mental health task force launched the delivery plan that Ms Wells alluded to. The group, which is co-chaired by Dr Dame Denise Coia and a member of the youth commission on mental health services, was commissioned by the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA and reports to both of us.

In addition, I announced this morning an additional £4 million for CAMHS to increase staffing levels, which are already at a record high. The additional staff will help increase capacity in the system and help drive some of the changes that we need to increase early intervention and promote mental health and wellbeing. That, in turn, will help us to reduce demand for specialist services, allowing them to see and treat more quickly those children and young people who require more specialist treatment. Getting children and young people the appropriate help and support that they need, when they need them, is a Scottish Government priority.

I am quite happy to update Annie Wells on the 800 additional workers that she asked about. As responsibility for health and social care has been devolved to integration authorities for their areas, it is vital that they plan for and take into account local needs in collaboration with the relevant partners, to ensure best use of the additional resource. That is why the Scottish Government is currently working with integration authorities on this commitment and on how, in consultation with their partners, they are deciding on the allocation of the additional workers to the key settings that are set out in action 15 of the mental health strategy.