I believe it is very important that we protect the health of children and young people in Scotland and across the United Kingdom, and I am pleased that we as a society have made great progress in recent years in understanding mental health issues.
The UK Government’s efforts to transform children and young people’s mental health for the better in coming years are very much welcome, and I would like to applaud the ambition in the UK Government’s recent green paper on this issue.
I would also like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to Childline, which provides children across the country with a safe, supportive, and confidential space that empowers them to improve their wellbeing; and I would like to commend the UK Government’s continued commitment of £2 million per year to the NSPCC to assist with the running of Childline.
As healthcare and education are devolved issues here in Scotland, I hope that the Scottish Government will take note of the UK Government’s work on mental health services for children. I am disappointed by data that shows that most Scottish NHS boards are failing to meet waiting time targets for children’s mental health, and I believe it is time that the Scottish Government followed the UK Government’s example on this important issue.