Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today said that the government needs to up its game on mental health support for young people during a debate at the Scottish Parliament.
Mr McArthur was speaking after MSPs debated mental health education and a new report from the Scottish Youth Parliament on mental ill health.
Mr McArthur warned that the government is still not taking the issue of mental ill health seriously enough and, speaking after the debate, called for a step change in investment to ensure that vulnerable young people are not left stranded on waiting lists.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“Mental ill health can have a shattering effect on young people, their families and wider communities. It is clear though that support services are under real pressure and struggling to cope.
“No child should have to wait more than two years for specialist mental health treatment. But that is what we have seen in Edinburgh. Other vulnerable young people have been forced to travel hundreds of miles for care because there are no dedicated Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services beds north of Dundee.
“Mental health professionals and volunteers are working incredibly hard. They would be the first to accept, however, that gaps in services exist, delays are happening and young people are suffering. We need the Scottish Government to give mental health a higher priority and provide the investment that services need.”