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I have been absolutely clear that long waits for children and young people to access mental health treatment are unacceptable.
There is no simple solution in the face of increased demand for children and young people’s mental health services. That is why we are undertaking an ambitious programme of work to monitor and drive forward performance in mental health waiting times across Scotland, while also supporting early intervention in community settings and across the third sector, local government and the national health service. That includes £250 million to support positive mental health for children and young people, in addition to £58 million over four years specifically to improve access to child and adolescent mental health services and psychological therapies, and to invest in additional staff.
Through the children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing programme board, which is jointly chaired by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, we are implementing the key recommendations of the Coia task force, the youth commission on mental health, and the Scottish Association for Mental Health audit of rejected referrals.