September 9, 2021 Blog

Q&A with Carol Mochan MSP

Carol Mochan is Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for Mental Wellbeing, Women’s Health and Sport. We asked her three quick questions about the news that CAMHS waiting lists are at a record high.

This week, you’ve described the situation with CAMHS as a “scandal”. What is going on?

“There is an enormous backlog of young people waiting to be seen by CAMHS services. This was going on long before the pandemic and the Scottish Government just do not seem to be able to clear the backlog or provide support or advice to individuals and their families while they are waiting. They could try to put in place some alternatives, or give mental health policy the focus that it needs but rather years of Scottish Government inaction has led us to the problems we face today.”

Why is this an issue?

“It’s an issue because we know mental health and wellbeing is a problem, particularly with younger people. It goes on to affect those younger people in their day-to-day lives, in their school life, in their relationships with their friends and families. Young people shouldn’t be waiting to be seen, mental health services should be available for all young people at the time of need.”

What is Scottish Labour saying the government should do?

“We are saying that the Scottish Government should make sure it has alternatives in place for people who are rejected from CAMHS referrals and, indeed, if people are waiting they should have some alternative support to make sure these families get through difficult times. Of course, the biggest thing is this government is not putting enough resources into mental health services and they should be increasing the amount of money available for mental health services.”