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Scotland facing a ‘ticking timebomb’ of mental health among young people, warns Scottish Labour

SCOTLAND is facing a “ticking timebomb” of mental health problems among the country’s young people, Scottish Labour warned today.

The party said that “urgent referrals” of young people to child mental health specialists had increased by 30 per cent in four years, and that Scotland was in a “youth mental health crisis.”

But it said the SNP government had cut £30 million in funding to mental health services last year — despite promises to give the services parity with other health services by increasing spending to 10 per cent of the NHS budget by 2026.

Scottish Labour’s mental health spokesman Paul Sweeney said: “While the SNP government break their promises over mental health funding, we are seeing the number of urgent Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services referrals rising across the country.

“From the Borders to the Highlands, the number of urgent referrals has risen but the SNP has persisted with cuts to mental health services.

“For too long, the SNP has been asleep at the wheel while Scotland has entered a youth mental health crisis.

“While the SNP bury their head in the sand and ignore this crisis, Scottish Labour will continue to fight to deliver the resources and action our young people need.”

The NHS says referrals are considered urgent if a child or young person is considered “actively suicidal,” has “acute psychosis” or there are concerns of serious medical complications associated with an eating disorder, such as rapid weight loss or significant underweight.

The Scottish government and NHS Scotland were invited to comment.

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