Fifers waiting ‘too long’ for mental health support

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Concerns over the 18 week mental health waiting list in Fife have been raised at an NHS board meeting.

At the recent meeting of NHS Fife, several members said they believed that four and a half months was too long to wait to see a specialist for mental health related illnesses.

Board members wanted to know what efforts were being put into early stage interventions, to help reduce pressures on the service, through the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

The service is for children and young people up to 18 years who are experiencing persistent, complex or severe mental health difficulties.

According to the public health priorities report from the Scottish Government, over three quarters of all mental health problems have their onset before the age of 20, and childhood and adolescence are the key stages for promotion and prevention to lay the foundations for future mental well-being.

Assurances were given that the next board meeting would see a full report on the service, with a clear progress trajectory mapped out.

Tricia Marwick, chairman, said: “We are all agreed that there is need for some urgency to get the kind of reports we need to monitor what progress is being made.”

But Martin Black said that these initiatives would continue to be inefficient if they didn’t address the “increasing poverty and inequality gap” in the Kingdom, which he said contributed to the growing pressures on mental health services.