A FIFE MSP says it is a “scandal” that so many children and young people are still waiting to begin mental health treatment in the Kingdom.
Murdo Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region for the Scottish Conservatives, blamed SNP ministers for failing to deal with the “crisis”.
He said: “In the figures for the quarter ending June 2021, there were 108 patients out of 411 who were not seen within 18 weeks – that concerns me.
“I will be continuing to push to guarantee that the SNP government now deliver that much-needed investment to Fife as well as charities and other organisations delivering crucial mental health support in our communities.”
Mr Fraser said there were already problems with the provision of mental health services and the pandemic had made it even worse.
The Scottish Government targets say that 90 per cent of youngsters requiring mental health treatment should be seen within 18 weeks.
However, in Fife, 26.3 per cent have waited beyond 18 weeks to begin treatment.
Mr Fraser said that pressure from the Scottish Conservatives had persuaded the SNP to commit to spend 10 per cent of the health budget on mental health services.
He added: “There is a mental health crisis among our young people in Fife.
“The SNP government have repeatedly pledged action, but it is clear they are still nowhere near to getting on top of this challenge.
“It is a scandal that so many of our vulnerable young people in Fife are waiting so long to begin vital mental health treatment.
“Even prior to the pandemic, the SNP failed to ensure that critical targets were met, but mental health issues have only been exacerbated by the Covid crisis.”
The Scottish Government said £10.83 million has been allocated for the remainder of this year to help improve access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
The investment will also increase the numbers of trained professionals to work in this area and is part the of £120m Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund announced in February.
Mental wellbeing and social care minister, Kevin Stewart, said: “I am pleased to announce the allocation of £10.83m for health boards to support children and young people with mental health issues, and those with neurodevelopmental support needs.
“This funding will lead to substantial improvements in the mental health care that children and young people receive in Scotland, ensuring that the right support is available in the right place at the right time.
“We know the pandemic has had a negative impact on many people’s mental health – whatever their age or circumstances.
“That is why we committed £120m to the recovery and renewal of mental health services in this year’s Programme for Government.
“I hope that the allocation I have announced today makes a real and lasting difference to children, young people and their families.”