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

The annual awareness event focuses on the mental health of children and young people and highlights support available.

The most recent statistics on wait times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services show that in the month of September last year alone, almost 250 young people across the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area were waiting between 19 weeks and a year for treatment.

There were 871 referrals made in that month, the highest figure in almost a year.

The Dumbarton constituency MSP’s Scottish Labour colleague, Councillor Michelle McGinty, previously expressed concern that West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership were fudging the figures of young people waiting for treatment. She claims they were classing patients as having had a first appointment despite the fact they had merely received a telephone consultation to confirm that they needed an assessment.

The Councillor, who is also Depute Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council and Chair of the West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership Board held a public meeting on Friday (February 10th) to engage with parents of affected youngsters.

It comes after it emerged that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the area are facing a severe backlog, with cases dating back to 2018 currently still waiting for assessment.

Jackie Baillie MSP said: “As we mark Children’s Mental Health Week, we continue to see unacceptable waiting times for children and young people to be able to access the help they need. Indeed, there are genuine concerns that the figures which are being presented are also not painting the full picture, which in turn means it becomes difficult to address the problems with accessing treatment as the proper scrutiny is not applied.

“Behind each of 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, worrying when help will be available and, in some cases, concerned it will come too late.

“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 incompetence of the SNP.

“I commend my colleague, Councillor Michelle McGinty for holding this important public meeting to bring together worried parents and work towards a proper solution for these families.”

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