New statistics show Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) waiting lists have hit their highest point on record in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, with nearly 3,000 young people waiting to be seen at the end of June. Of these, nearly half have been waiting longer than the target of 18 weeks and one in ten waited over eight months.

Nationally, the statistics are just as stark: nearly 12,000 young people across Scotland were waiting at the end of June, also the highest since records began in 2012. The Government’s target to see 90 per cent of referrals within 18 weeks has never been met.

These statistics are frightening given the devastating effect the pandemic has had on children and young people, with many missing out on vital social interaction and education time. However, these are not new problems. Audit Scotland said last week that ‘serious concerns have existed for years’. The Government’s new pledge to increase investment in mental health support simply cannot wait five years – thousands of young people are being failed now.

There are reports of services not being able to cope with the demand and delays in areas like West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde. The last thing we want is a potential lost generation of children and young people in these already challenged areas. It is more important than ever they access the support they need.