Borders MSP, Rachael Hamilton says the number of children and young people waiting over a year to begin mental health treatment is “appalling”.
The MSP’s call comes after new figures showed that almost 2,000 children and young people across Scotland have been waiting over a year to begin treatment.
The latest figures (recorded in September) showed that across NHS Borders, 8 people waited over an entire year for treatment. A further 110 waited over 18 weeks to start treatment.
Overall, 47% of young people who required treatment had to wait longer than 18 weeks.
Rachael Hamilton says the SNP are presiding over a mental health crisis among young people in the Borders and must get a grip of the situation now.
The Borders MSP thanked the hard work of NHS staff who were assisting and proving treatment to young people, but believes they are being let down by the SNP Government in Edinburgh.
Mrs Hamilton added that even prior to the pandemic, the SNP had failed to ensure vulnerable young people started treatment as quickly as possible and called on NHS Borders to be given the resources they need.
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“These appalling figures should be a source of shame for the SNP.
“There is a mental health crisis among our young people in the Borders and that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“The SNP are simply not doing enough to get on top of this situation. Even before Covid, they were failing to meet key targets on mental health treatment for young people.
“NHS Borders staff are working very hard to ensure young people have the treatment they need, but they simply haven’t got the resources to treat people as quickly as possible.
“Ministers must use these shocking figures to act urgently and ensure vulnerable young people are not forced to wait unacceptably long for the treatment they desperately need.”