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Shock figures show180 young people waiting more than a year for mental health treatment in the Highlands

By Louise Glen

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New figures show that there has been a huge rise in waiting times for Child And Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in NHS Highland since the lockdown began in March.

The number of children waiting for treatment for more than a year, rose from 71 in March 2020 to 180 in September 2020.

These figures, published by Public Health Scotland, also highlighted that 205 young people have been waiting between 18 weeks and 52 weeks for treatment as of September 2020.

CAMHS are subject to deliver an 18 week wait from referral to treatment for specialist services, which means 385 young people have not received treatment within that target.

Across Scotland, a total of 959 patients have been waiting for over a year to begin treatment as of September, which was an increase of 360 patients from the same point in 2019.

Edward Mountain MSP said: “These are shocking figures and show that there is an urgent need to address the growing mental health crisis affecting children and young people in the Highlands.”

“It is unacceptable that 385 young patients have been unable to begin their treatment within the 18 week target. I fear this could only get worse due to the rise of anxiety and isolation as a result of the lockdown.”

“I am calling on the SNP Government to urgently provide NHS Highland with the resources they need to ensure our young people can receive treatment as soon as possible.”

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