£100m investment for mental health

Date: 24th May 2015
Category: Mental health, Health and health services

The Scottish Government have announced that it will be increasing investment to tackle the issue of child and adolescent mental health services in Scotland. This new fund will be largely devoted to the CAMHS waiting list and psychological services, over the next 5 years.

An extra £85 million will be invested in improving mental health services over the next five years.

The money is on top of the existing £15 million fund for mental health innovation, announced last year, making a total additional investment of £100 million over the next five years.

The fund will partly be used to further improve child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) services, and bring down waiting times. There has been a significant increase in demand in recent years, with a 35 per cent increase in the number of young people starting treatment over the last two years. This is thought to be mainly because more people are seeking help. It will also be targeted at improving access to services, and in particular psychological therapies.

Further areas of focus will be better responses to mental health in primary care, promoting wellbeing through physical activity, and improving patient rights, which is one of the elements of the forthcoming Mental Health Bill. Third sector service providers will be key to delivering new services, and there will be a focus on innovation and providing services in community settings.

There has already been significant investment in improving mental health services. The Scottish Government has already committed to invest almost £7 million in CAMHS this year. This is in addition to the new £100 million fund.

More than £16 million has been invested specifically in developing the CAMHS workforce since 2009. Staffing levels are at an all-time high and have risen by 45 per cent since 2008.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

"Mental health services are an absolute priority of this government. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our county and it's vital that the health service is properly equipped to give them the support and treatment they need.

"We have been investing heavily for a number of years, and waiting times have come down significantly, despite an unprecedented rise in the number of people seeking help. Scotland was the first country in the UK to have a mental health waiting times target - a sign of how importantly we view this issue.

"There is still more work to be done. I'm delighted to be able to announce this £100 million investment which will make a real difference to people right across Scotland."