The SNP Government is investing £4 million to recruit an additional 80 mental health professionals to work with children and young people in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
The additional staff, made up of psychologists, nurses, allied health professionals and administration workers, will support improvements to mental health care and help reduce pressure on CAMHS in Ayrshire and across Scotland.
The funding comes as a taskforce appointed by the SNP Government and COSLA to review CAMHS publishes its delivery plan for improving services. The taskforce’s recommendations include:
preventing young people being referred to specialist care by default, and treating more in primary and community-based care;
providing young people and families with more information on what to expect from mental health services and how the system works.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP said:
“Across Scotland, talented and dedicated mental health staff provide high quality care to young people and are seeing more people than ever. I want the speed at which young people receive their care to be improved. That’s why we are investing additional resources in CAMHS staff, who will be instrumental in supporting new services and reducing pressure on the system.
“The taskforce are to be commended for their delivery plan which sets out an ambitious programme of work that will inform the whole public sector about how we can ensure young people get the right care at the right time in the right place.”
Councillor Stuart Currie, COSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson, added:
“COSLA is grateful for the work of the jointly commissioned taskforce in its initial considerations and putting together this initial delivery plan for its work. Local government will continue to work jointly with Scottish Government in supporting the taskforce.
“As the delivery plan states, it is vital that we continue to focus on prevention and early intervention and building strong community responses and services. We are pleased that there is a strong focus on the voices of children, young people and their families. We look forward to seeing this work develop and jointly responding to the recommendations of the taskforce as they are made.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The SNP Programme for Government 2018/19 commits an extra £250 million a year to improve mental health services. Measures include investing in around 350 counsellors in school education across Scotland and developing services for community mental wellbeing for 5-24 year olds and their parents. This will provide direct and immediate access to counselling sessions, self-care advice, family support, peer-to-peer support and group work with links to other care settings.
“Prevention is key, and these and other steps will will provide support that is more appropriate and provided more quickly; preventing, where possible, issues reaching levels that require specialist CAMHS support.”