South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has said it is completely unacceptable that nearly a fifth of children and young people are waiting longer than 18 weeks for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the Borders.

It comes as figures from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in the three months to June 2019 31 children and young people were forced to wait longer than 18 weeks for CAMHS in NHS Borders. This meant that 19% of all children and young people referred for mental health services waited longer than 18 weeks.

Colin Smyth said, “The waiting times for access to mental health services for children are a scandal. The 18 week target is supposed to be a legal guarantee yet nearly a fifth of children and young people locally are not being given the care they need when they were promised it and that is nothing short of a disgrace. The longer a child has to wait for treatment with mental health issues the more difficult and longer their recovery will be.

The SNP Government need to get a grip and properly fund our local NHS to help them tackle this scandal.  In the wake of the worst CAMHS figures last year they promised to fund school counsellors and wider mental health teams but even after a year the funding is still to be allocated to Scottish Borders Council and not one school counsellor has yet been employed. We need more action from this SNP Scottish Government rather than just words.”

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