PSYCHIATRISTS have called on the Scottish Government to “pull out all the stops” and explain how it will meet its target for investing in mental health services for children and young people.
The call from the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) in Scotland comes as new research by the professional body found that almost nine in 10 (88%) of leading child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) psychiatrists surveyed said the services they operate in are insufficiently or very insufficiently resourced.
About 84% said they had seen a significant increase in the need for mental health services during the Covid-19 crisis, and more than six in 10 (62%) said the pandemic had a very negative impact on the wellbeing of children and young people they provided care to.
However, more than nine in 10 (92%) of the 51 respondents said that the staffing situation had got worse due to the pandemic.
RCPsych in Scotland is now calling on the Scottish Government to outline how it will reach its target of directing 1% of the health budget to CAMHS by 2026.
Dr Helen Smith, chairwoman of the CAMHS Faculty at RCPsych in Scotland, said: “While we welcomed the efforts to invest into CAMHS through the Mental Health and Renewal Fund, this cannot be the end of this investment.
“The Scottish Government must pull out all the stops and outline how they will meet their own target by 2026.
“We need more staff to be able to deliver specialist mental health care to our children and young people. There also needs to be much greater co-ordination between CAMHS and other health settings, to ensure every child or young person who isn’t clinically in need of CAMHS, does access the right care and support.
“Our young people need our help with their mental health more than ever and, as we begin to see the pandemic slide, what we need is a proper explanation as to how targets will be met for the future.”
RCPsych in Scotland said that of the 133 CAMHS psychiatrists in Scotland, 51 (38%) responded to the survey.
source: The National.Scot