The latest round of CAMHS waiting time figures in Scotland show much room for improvement.
Public Health Scotland data revealed that by the end of March, the number of youngsters on the list for CAMHS treatment was up by 138 (1.8%) from December 2022.
However the waiting list was down by more than a quarter (26%) on the end of March 2022.
In the period January to March 2023, almost three-quarters (74.2%) of children and young people were seen within 18 weeks of being referred for specialist help.
That marked an improvement from the 70.2% recorded the previous quarter, but it is still below the 90% Scottish Government target.
Dr Kandarp Joshi, Vice-Chair of the CAMHS Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said:
“Once again we have a situation where many young people and their families are having to wait weeks to receive care which increases their chances of developing more complex and severe mental ill health.
“What we have is a mental health emergency and predict demand is set to soar due to the cost of living crisis. We’re also dealing with the double whammy of having a postcode lottery of CAMHS services across Scotland.
“As psychiatrists on the frontline, we’re doing all we can to support our young patients, but capacity simply isn’t keeping up with demand. It takes years to train new staff and services don’t have the resources they need to tackle the mental health crisis that is happening right now.
“The first minister was in charge of health before he took the top job, when waiting times were just as bad. This situation is simply not sustainable.
“We need the Scottish Government ensure CAMHS receives its fair share of funding to implement positive and to support a long-term whole system change. By 2026, 1% of what we spend on health needs to go on supporting our young people’s mental health.”