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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-24216
Asked by: Jenny Gilruth, Mid Fife and Glenrothes, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 3 July 2019


To ask the Scottish Government, following the resignation of the chair, Dr Dame Denise Coia, when it will provide an update on the future of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce, and when it will publish the taskforce's recommendations.

Current status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 4 July 2019


I can today announce, on behalf of the Scottish Government and COSLA, that the work of the Children & Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce will be taken forward by a new programme board – the Children & Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board .

The Board, which will be jointly chaired by the Scottish Government Director of Mental Health and the COSLA Head of Policy, will report directly to me and the COSLA Health and Social Care, and Children and Young People spokespersons. The scope of the Board’s work, with an emphasis on delivery and action between now and the end of 2020, will be to oversee reforms. The scope will include relevant areas of education, health, community and children’s services and wider areas that impact on the mental health and wellbeing of children. This will include the recommendations of the Taskforce and the Youth Commission on Mental Health.

This announcement today reflects the next steps in a partnership between the Scottish Government and COSLA aimed at making sure that our children and young people and their families are able to get the right support at the right time from specialist mental health services and community support services. The Taskforce’s vision will guide our approach to making real change. In line with their recommendations, there will be a focus on prevention, early intervention and promoting good mental health. This will be underpinned by the values and principles of GIRFEC and will be responsive to local needs and systems.

We are very grateful to Dr Dame Denise Coia for her considered and collaborative work in leading the Taskforce and her strong guiding presence. We are also grateful to all of the Taskforce and workstream members who gave their time, energy and commitment.

Membership of the Board will include representatives of NHS Chief Executives; Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE); Integration Joint Board Chief Officers; Directors of Education and Children’s Services (ADES); Social Work Scotland; the Royal College of GPs; the Royal College of Nursing; the Association of Educational Psychologists, Directors of Public Health, the Third Sector; other allied health professionals, youth workers and parents (NPF). We will also make use of the services of a participation officer whose role will be to make the appropriate links with children and young people to ensure that a level of co-production applies and their voices are at the centre.

I anticipate that the first meeting of the new Board will take place in August 2019.