SAMH Comment on CAMHS and Psychological Therapies Waiting Times

4th June 2019

New figures published today (Tuesday 4 June) on waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and psychological therapies show that the 18 week waiting time target is still not being met.

For some time now SAMH has been calling for an ask once, get help fast approach to mental health services. Indeed, the Scottish Government committed to adopting this approach in its Mental Health Strategy, published in 2017.

Last year the Scottish Government promised action on mental health, but today’s figures show that people still aren’t seeing impact on the ground. Demand for mental health services has also increased this quarter, so it’s crucial that when people ask for help, they receive it quickly. This quarter, for the first time ever, no health board met the 18-week target on psychological therapies.

Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH said: “We know that getting the appropriate help quickly can make a big difference to a person’s recovery from mental health problems. Being left without support can leave people feeling alone and without hope. Today’s figures, which show that waiting time targets for both CAMHS and psychological therapies still aren’t being met, clearly demonstrate that Scotland needs to do much better quickly.

“People are still waiting too long for help, and being rejected from services too frequently. This isn’t good enough.”