New plans shake up mental health services

Discussion group

Current system is failing young people with mental health problems 

24th October 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Young people will reshape mental health in Scotland as part of ambitious new plans.  

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) has begun work with the Scottish Government to gather evidence from young people, their families and carers across the country to see what work and what doesn’t in terms of services.

One aspect will investigate how young people are treated by the system, asking them directly for their experiences and using their feedback to improve services. 

SAMH chief executive Billy Watson said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Scottish Government on this project. Since the launch of our Going To Be campaign in May we have spoken to thousands of people about their experiences and we look forward to speaking to many more over the coming months.

“What we need is services that work for young people that are appropriate to their needs. A mental health problem shouldn’t just be defined by a diagnosis but it is often only then that an intervention is triggered.

“There are more young people than ever before seeking help for their mental health. However, this means greater demands on services and increasing waiting times. We look forward to finding solutions to improve young people’s experiences.”

The charity will work in partnership with NSS Information Services Division (ISD), part of NHS National Services Scotland, which will take forward an audit of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to complete the picture of the current system.

We are determined to improve the experience of children - Shona Robison

In the last year 7,255 young people who were referred to CAMHS did not receive support from that service.

Shona Robison, cabinet secretary for health and sport said: “We are determined in our delivery of Scotland’s mental health strategy to improve the experience of children and young people using CAMH services.

“At the start of this work I wanted to ensure we took the time to hear from young people, their families and carers directly about their experiences, including those who were referred but didn’t access the service.

"This is important so we can understand how we can make improvements and route young people to the most appropriate help and support.

“Above all, young people can help shape solutions and we firmly believe can make a real and positive difference.”