By Lucy Ashton

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton constituency, has demanded action on ‘unacceptable’ waits for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) on Children’s Mental Health Week.

The annual awareness event focuses on the mental health of children and young people and highlights support available. This year’s theme is Growing Together with children, and adults being asked to consider how they have grown and how they can help others to grow.

The most recent statistics on wait times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services show there are almost 3000 people on the waiting list across the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

The 2883 waiting to be seen by CAMHS in September 2021 was the highest total since September 2020.

Waiting times across the health board area, which covers West Dunbartonshire, also sit above the national average.

For the quarter ending September 2021, out of the 1021 people seen by the service, 192 (18.8 percent of them) had waited between 36 and 52 weeks from referral. Some 75.5 percent were seen within 18 weeks, below the Scottish average of 78.6 percent.

This is despite the SNP government aiming to treat 95 percent of those referred within 18 weeks.

Jackie Baillie, right, said: “As we mark Children’s Mental Health Week, we are seeing unacceptable waiting times for children and young people to be able to access the help they need.

“Behind these statistics is a family who have had the bravery to approach health professionals for support and yet they are languishing on waiting lists for months on end.

“The hard-working staff within these services are doing the best job they can but they need proper resources and investment.

“We cannot have local young people being failed and put in danger due to the failure of the SNP.

“On behalf of the young people of my constituency who so desperately need support, I call on the Health Secretary to take action to ensure everyone gets the treatment that they need swiftly.”

Artwork: Jane Heaney

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