Good mental health is an essential part of our vision for children and young people. Mental wellbeing affects their behaviour, their ability to learn and achieve, and their physical health. And just as importantly, it impacts on their ability to enjoy their childhood and teenage years to the full.
And yet the Scottish Needs Assessment Programme ( SNAP) Report on Child and Adolescent Mental Health tells us that at any one time, about 10% of our children and young people, "have mental health problems which are so substantial that they have difficulties with their thoughts, their feelings, their behaviour, their learning, their relationships, on a day to day basis". We also know that when children and young people experience problems, they are not always able to access the help they need when they need it. This must be improved.
The SNAP report has already provided our strategic vision for the mental health of children and young people in Scotland, across promotion, prevention and care. We hope that now, this Framework will help local agencies in working together to deliver that vision. Certainly, it has been developed in the spirit in which we expect it to be implemented - in partnership across agencies and disciplines, and with children and young people themselves.
We are enormously grateful to the members of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Development Group, and in particular to Anne Clarke, Director of HeadsUpScotland, who have assisted in producing this document. For the first time, we have a clear and comprehensive direction for children's and young people's mental health in Scotland. We now look to our partners in the NHS and local government to ensure that it is delivered.
Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care
Deputy Minister for Education and Young People
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