Dumbarton constituency MSP Jackie Baillie has called for more to be done to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health in young people as figures reveal an increase in referrals to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health service.

The figures, which were revealed in West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s recent performance report, show that there has been a 29% increase in CAMHS referrals received and accepted between 2017/18 and 2018/19 in West Dunbartonshire.

This has coincided with a decline against the 18 week referral to treatment target across the whole of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, including in West Dunbartonshire. At March 2019, more than 20% of children and young people had not received treatment within 18 weeks and the longest waiting time at March 2019 was 32 weeks.

Jackie said:

“It is clear that something is not right in our health and social care service when children and young people are waiting up to 32 weeks to receive treatment for their mental health. And this is despite the best efforts of staff.

“Whilst the increase in referrals is putting pressure on the system it also shows that children and young people are prepared to talk about their problems. We need to do more to tackle the stigma and ensure that children and young people continue to help.

“The SNP government must urgently act to ensure that health boards and local authorities have the resources to meet this growing demand and ensure that children and young people receive the treatment that they need as quickly as possible.”

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