by Ross Gray
The news that a fifth of children referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are not met within the 18 week target is concerning and threatens the well-being of young people at key stages in their life when any mental health issue could seriously impact their development and future prospects. It is also a burden carried disproportionately by the most vulnerable young people with those from the most deprived backgrounds 3 times more likely to be treated for mental illness and young carers far more likely than their peers to suffer from similar issues.
Poor mental health subsequently hampers our society’s ability to break the cycle of inequality and for all to fulfill their potential as thriving citizens.
This comes at a time where cuts to council budgets have led to a shortage of mental health workers and educational psychologists and in the words of the Scottish Children’s Service Coalition have left children ‘in distress and at risk’. These cuts prevent the prompt intervention for all which is crucial to those suffering achieving the best outcomes. They are also shortsighted as poor adolescent mental health has been linked to more frequent health issues down the line which cost more to remedy. However, through the work of Green MSPs in Holyrood, the Scottish Government have pledged £3 million extra in local government funding for East Renfrewshire in the year 2017/18 which will help alleviate some of the strain placed on such services.
Electing a Green councillor in May will ensure better education on the issue and a commitment to tackling the root causes of poor mental health, be they inequality, discrimination or abuse, in order to prevent it in the first place. Together we can ensure the relevant help and support is available for those in need and build a happier, more inclusive society for our young people.
GREEN COUNCILLORS WILL IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS BY…