Coalition says children's mental health situation is one of the greatest health challenges of our time.
Pressure is already mounting on the next Scottish Government to make taking control of children’s mental health problems a key priority.
Hot on the heels of Children in Scotland demanding that a dedicated minister for mental health is appointed, an alliance of service providers which support vulnerable young people has made their own demands for fixes to what it describes as a "mental health crisis storm".
In its Scottish Parliament election manifesto, the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition (SCSC) says the situation is one of the greatest health challenges of our time.
It highlighted recent research from the Mental Health Foundation which shows that as many one in 10 children and young people have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, but only one in four access any treatment.
Eight of Scotland’s 13 health boards are also failing to achieve the 18 week waiting time for providing children and young people with access to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
We are in the eye of a mental health crisis storm
“We are in the eye of a mental health crisis storm, which is why we are urging the next Scottish Government and the politicians of all political parties to ensure that mental health is a key priority for the next Scottish Government," a spokesperson for the SCSC said.
It is calling for mental health to be put on a par with physical health saying extra spending for CAMHS services, up from the current level of just 0.46% of the NHS Scotland budget, is needed.
Greater investment in early intervention and prevention measures to help prevent the development of mental health problems in children and young people is also vital, it says, especially as many young people carry their problems into adult life effecting their educational achievements, employment and relationships.
“If we are to achieve real change, it is vital that prevention and early intervention measures for children and young people are adequately invested in," the spokesperson continued.
“This will help prevent the development of mental health problems, reducing the inevitable impact in terms of educational achievements, employment and relationships.”