Plan to ensure consistent high standards.
Young people dealing with mental health issues are to be guaranteed access to high quality support wherever they live, Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey has announced.
Health boards will receive new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) guidance which outlines the level of provision that children, young people and their families can expect to receive when they are referred for help within the NHS.
The first national CAMHS Service Specification, which has been developed in partnership with young people and their families, includes a number of aims such as reducing both the waiting time for a first assessment appointment and the waiting time for any subsequent treatment.
Ms Haughey said:
“We are determined to ensure that any young person who is identified as needing support with mental health issues can get services that are appropriate to their needs.
“An important step towards ensuring consistent high standards is the development of agreed referral criteria and definitions and this Service Specification, developed in partnership with young people and their families, will help to ensure everyone gets the right treatment, at the right time and in the right place.
“All health boards are being provided with this specification and will be expected to set out plans on how they will implement it, with a formal review of how it is working across Scotland to take place after six months.
“In 2018/19 our investment in mental health reached £1.1 billion and over the life of this Parliament will exceed £5 billion – investment which will help deliver the best support available for children and young people dealing with mental health issues.”
Development of the service specification has been overseen by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board, which is jointly chaired by the Scottish Government and COSLA.
COSLA Children and Young People spokesperson, Cllr Stephen McCabe said:
“We are grateful to the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board for their work on the specification.
“This is part of a whole system approach and COSLA will continue working with partners to drive a national conversation on prevention and early support for children, young people and their families.”
Publication and implementation of the CAMHS Service Specification is a product of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board. Successful implementation will meet recommendations from the Audit of Rejected Referrals and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce.
Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) stresses the importance of care planning and collaboration between professionals as the required standard for delivery of Children’s Services in Scotland, and CAMHS will work to the GIRFEC principles on a multi professional and agency basis.
The Scottish Government is strengthening the support available in communities and schools with mental health first aid training for local authorities - ensuring every secondary school has access to a counselling service by September 2020 – and 250 additional school nurses are being trained over the next three years, with 50 already in place this year.
Since 2007, CAMHS staffing has increased by 74%. The Scottish Government, in partnership with COSLA, is working with the new Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board to put in place community wellbeing services for children and young people aged 5-24 and their families across the whole of Scotland.