Today Audit Scotland released their report on Children and Young People’s Mental Health.
The report highlight’s a significant increase in young people being referred to mental health services and in turn waiting times for services have increased.
There has been a 22% increase in service referrals in five years and a 24% increase in referral rejections over the same period.
The number of Children and young people who are waiting over 18 weeks for treatment has also increased from 15% in 2013/14 to 26% in 2017/18.
The Auditor General and the Account Commission have called for a chance in the way public sector responds to children and young people’s mental health needs.
Caroline Gardner, the Auditor General, said:
“The mental health system is complex and fragmented, making it difficult for children, young people and their families to get the support they need.
“Improving mental health and wellbeing is a public health priority for the Scottish Government. For this to happen, a step change is required in the way services respond to the needs of children and young people.”
Graham Sharp, chair of the Accounts Commission, the local government watchdog, said:
“No single organisation can address all the issues raised in this report, and we now need to see government, integration authorities, councils, NHS boards and others work together with children and young people to start bringing about change.
“That process will benefit from a much clearer understanding of how our young people are accessing existing services and what difference is being made to their lives.”
Penumbra’s Jane Cumming, Director of Services and Innovation, said of the report:
“We very much welcome the publication of this report. For some time we have been extremely concerned about the support available to young people and have seen the impact of the loss of essential early intervention services.
It is critical that young people, and families, can access mental health support at an early stage in order to prevent increasing levels of distress, and we welcome the commitment to deliver improved response to our young people.”
You can read the full report here