Local SNP candidate welcomes £40m to improve children and young people’s mental health services

Greenock and Inverclyde’s SNP candidate, Stuart McMillan, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s plans to improve Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) – with £40m to be invested.

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP wrote to health boards last week setting out areas of investment from the Scottish Government’s £120m Recovery and Renewal Fund, and highlighted this investment into CAMHS.

Commenting, Stuart said:

“The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, not least young people. It has disrupted their education, work, social and family lives. That is why I welcome the SNP Scottish Government’s plans to make around £40m available to take forward dedicated work to improve CAMHS.

“This will include capacity building to meet expected increases in demand, specialist neurodevelopmental assessments, and ensuring young people have access to intensive psychiatric inpatient care when they need it.

“An essential part of this investment will be funding for a clinical director for each CAMH service to drive forward change – and the SNP will invest up to £15m to help clear backlogs in CAMHS and Psychological Therapies waiting lists.

“However, we recognise that not all children and young people need specialist services like CAMHS, and so we will also continue to support the expansion of community services at a local level.

“The Scottish Government’s £120m Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund is the single largest investment in mental health in the history of devolution, and shows the priority the SNP are placing on mental health. Under the SNP, Scotland was the first country in the UK to have appointed a dedicated Minister for Mental Health.

“Funding for mental health is up 40% since 2006 and mental health staffing up 69% since we came to office – an increase of 400 whole time equivalent staff. The number of people working in child and adolescent mental health is also going up and the number of child psychology posts has doubled over the past ten years.

“But demand continues to increase and we must take action over the next parliament to improve mental health care in our communities, to support people living with mental health challenges.

“This £40m investment will go a long way to improving services and, ultimately, improving the nation’s mental health.”

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