Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has slammed the SNP Government for presiding over “appalling” mental health waiting times for children and young people across the Highlands and Islands.
Donald’s call comes after responses to Freedom of Information requests submitted by the Scottish Conservatives uncovered the “intolerable” waits being endured by children and young people who require mental health support across the country.
In NHS Highland, one CAMHS patient waited 150 weeks for their first appointment.
Donald Cameron MSP says such long waits are a prime example of the dire workforce planning by successive Nationalist health secretaries which has left CAMHS services across Scotland completely overwhelmed.
Donald added that the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the mental health crisis in NHS Highland and that children and young people are desperate for specialist treatment to be provided as quickly as possible.
Donald Cameron MSP said: “Vulnerable children and young people across the Highlands and Islands are experiencing unacceptably long waits for mental health treatment.
“No patient should be waiting as long as 150 weeks to have their first CAMHS appointment. We’re talking about vulnerable, potentially suicidal, youngsters, so these waits are intolerable and potentially life-threatening.
“Successive SNP health secretaries have presided over dire workforce planning and that has left our CAMHS services completely overstretched.
“They owe young people an apology, and the current incumbent – the discredited and distracted Michael Matheson – must now outline an urgent plan to ensure those requiring mental health support are seen far sooner.”