Investing in mental health services for young people

Good mental wellbeing is as important as good physical health. This is as true for children and young people as it is for everyone else.

We are determined to ensure that our mental health services give young people the advice, support and care that they need.

Here are just some of the steps we are taking to achieve that.

More staff and record investment

Over the last decade, the number of people working in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) has increased by over 50 per cent.

And in 2017-18 total mental health investment in Scotland reached £1 billion for the first time, with an additional £150 million being invested over five years to further improve services.

Listening to the experience of young people

The Scottish Government, in partnership with the charity SAMH and Young Scot, has established a Youth Commission on Mental Health Services. The 22 Youth Commissioners and will make recommendations to Ministers and service providers on how services can be improved.

Improving the transition to adult mental health services

We are committed to improving transitions for young people moving from CAMHS to adult mental health services and will explore the potential for flexibility for those aged 18 to 25 to continue CAMHS care and treatment.

Supporting young people in schools

Scotland’s new 10 year Mental Health Strategy makes a number of commitments to improving mental health support in our schools. We will:

  • review counselling and guidance services in schools;
  • review Personal and Social Education (PSE) and the role of pastoral guidance in schools; and  
  • roll out improved mental health training for those who support young people in education.

Exploring why some young people are rejected for services after a referral

The Scottish Government has worked with Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) to review the reasons why some children and young people are rejected for mental health services after a referral.

In response to the audit of rejected referrals, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has said the current system is “completely unacceptable”. All recommendations have been accepted and a new CAMHS Taskforce is being created, backed with £5 million of investment, to reshape and improve CAMHS services.

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