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Mental Health Services Written Answer, 17/02/2015 [S]

Written answer given in response to Mary Scanlon's (Con) question asking the Scottish Government what action was taken to improve psychological services following the observation in the 2010 Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) 114 report, Non-pharmaceutical management of depression in adults, that the "provision of psychological therapy services across Scotland [was] patchy, idiosyncratic and largely uncoordinated".

The Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, Jamie Hepburn replied, faster access to specialist mental health services for children and young people and to psychological therapies for people of all ages is one of our key challenges. Scotland was the first UK country to introduce a waiting times target.
In 2009, Audit Scotland published an Overview of Mental Health Services which highlighted areas for improvement. One of the key messages from the report was that basic management information on waiting times is needed for agencies to plan and manage mental health services more effectively.
In November 2010, we set a HEAT target to ‘Deliver faster access to mental health services by delivering 18 weeks referral to treatment for psychological therapies from December 2014'.

Currently, the average waiting time for psychological therapies is 8 weeks, and 9 weeks for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, with the majority of people needing treatment being seen within 18 weeks.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 17 February 2015 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 17 February 2015