Mental Health (Transition and Recovery)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

I thank Mr Briggs for his question. I have said on many occasions that our position has been that long waits for mental health treatment are unacceptable and it is encouraging to see that more people are able to access psychological therapies compared to the same quarter last year in the statistics that he referenced. However, it is disappointing to see a drop in performance at this time.

Our investments have contributed to a substantial increase in the CAMHS and psychological therapies workforce. However, we recognise that the impact on performance has been slower and less comprehensive than we expect and require. We are keen to build on some of the learning that we have done during this time and to see how recent developments in the use of technology, for example, can help boards to address some of the longstanding issues around access and, crucially, quality of services.

Mr Briggs had three specific asks. If he will indulge me, I will write to him on them. It might also be helpful for him to know about some of the things that we have done that I have not mentioned already today. For example, the Solihull approach looks at relationships and child development and covers from the antenatal period right through to age 19. The Distress Brief Intervention programme is accessible nationwide for anyone who is over the age of 16. The Parent Club website provides advice and support for parents, carers and children on aspects of mental health.