Supporting Children and Young People's Mental Health has been a priority for Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) as we have sought to provide support to those impacted by the pandemic and address the need to improve mental health supports and services that existed prior to it. Between Spring 2021 and Spring 2023, with partners across the public and third sector, and children and young people themselves, we have sought to continue to enhance mental health support through the work of the Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Delivery Board.
The work of this Board has been ambitious. It has recognised that prevention and early intervention from an early age is crucial, as well as the importance of the right support at the right time. It has sought to better understand need and enhance the range of supports and services children and young people may require across the mental health continuum; from seeking to understand what may be required to better support 3-5 year olds to supporting the implementation of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Service Specification.
We are delighted to see the early impact of this work with new and enhanced community-based supports and services for emotional wellbeing and tackling distress available in every local authority and continuing to develop. We are encouraged by the early learning from our Tests of Change in implementing the Neurodevelopmental Service Specification, recognising the potential impact this may have on mental health provision. We are also pleased that the recently published CAMHS statistics, show both an increase in CAMHS staff numbers and progress in addressing long waiting lists.
A strong partnership between the public and third sector has been vital in progressing this work, as has listening to the views of children, young people, parents, and carers. We are very grateful for the insight and commitment from young people who have been Board members since its inception, and stakeholders from across the system who have supported the Board's work.
Although the work of the Board has now drawn to a close and we recognise what has been achieved, we also recognise the considerable challenge ahead of us in continuing to develop support for our children and young people. The learning from the Board will inform our next steps as we continue to seek to ensure the best possible mental health, support and services for the children and young people of Scotland.
Hugh McAloon, Director of Mental Health, Scottish Government
Nicola Dickie, Director of People Policy, COSLA
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback