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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-25449

  • Asked by: Paul Sweeney, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 9 February 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Maree Todd on 4 March 2024


To ask the Scottish Government what alternatives are being considered for children and young people who are experiencing mental health concerns, but are either waiting to be seen by child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) or are unable to get onto the CAMHS waiting list, and what funding is available for any such alternatives.


It is vital to the Scottish Government that children and young people receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time. Not all children and young people need specialist services like CAMHS, and many will find more suitable support in their local community. This is why we have provided local authorities with over £50 million since 2020 to fund community-based mental health and wellbeing supports and services for children, young people and their families.

The services are focused on prevention and early intervention, and include supports for positive mental health and wellbeing as well as emotional distress. Where appropriate, these services offer an alternative to CAMHS by providing support for emotional distress delivered in a community setting. Local authorities can also make support available to children and young people who are awaiting CAMHS treatment.

Community supports and services are available in every local authority area, with more than 300 now in place across Scotland. Local authorities report that over 58,000 children, young people and their family members used the supports and services in the first half of 2023 alone.

We will be providing local authorities with a further £15 million in 2024-25 to continue to deliver these supports and services. We have also ensured access to counselling services in all secondary schools, and continue to give local authorities £16 million per year to fund this.