Concern over small percentage of mental health budget spent on children

Categories: Health and health services and Mental health

21st July 2015

Findings that only 0.45% of NHS Scotland expenditure on mental health in 2013-14 was on child and adolescent health has raised concern & a call for rebalance.

In a recent answer to a parliamentary question from Jim Hume MSP, it became apparent that only 0.45% of NHS Scotland expenditure in 2013-14 was on child and adolescent mental health.

Just over £45.2m is currently spent on child and adolescent mental health in Scotland, amounting to a mere 5.56% of the mental health budget.

The Scottish Children's Services Coalition (SCSC) are concerned by these figures and immediately called on the Scottish Government to rebalance NHS expenditure on child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to reach a minimum of 1% of the NHS budget. This would increase it to £100.5m, an additional £55.3m, meaning that 12.3% of the mental health budget would be spent on child and adolescent mental health.

In a recent report submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Together recommended that the Scottish Government should:

- Invest in universal preventative and early intervention children's services to prevent an increase in mental ill health among children.

- Ensure new funding for mental health is sustained and focused on children and particularly directed at those who are most at risk, including children with a disability, looked after children, children living in poverty, LGBTI children and children with additional support needs.

- Invest sufficient resources in CAMHS to meet the needs of all children requiring support in a timely and effective manner.

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