A Fife school chief has led calls for more mental health cash as it emerged the kingdom has some the lowest funding levels for young people in Scotland.
Across the country, 0.48% of NHS spending finds its way to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
NHS Fife spends £245,000 a year on the service, which represents 0.04% of its health budget – the second lowest proportion in the country.
Tayside spends £6.6m, which is 0.72% of its expenditure, according to the figures which were published in response to a question from Tory MSP Miles Briggs.
Kenny Graham, from Falkland House in Fife, whose pupils have additional support needs, said: “It is clearly disappointing to note these newly released figures highlighting the very small proportion of the overall NHS and mental health budget being spent on addressing the needs of children and young people, especially when we know that three children in every classroom have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem. “
Ahead of Derek Mackay’s budget next week, the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition is calling for the CAMHS budget to triple, with nearly an extra £100m a year of funding.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Liberal Democrat MSP, said: “It is high time SNP ministers delivered the scale of intervention required.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Mental health is an absolute priority for us which is clearly shown by our investment of £150 million over five years for improving mental health, including £15 million to support better access to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
“We are dedicated to improving specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) across Scotland but we want to do more, particularly as more young people are coming forward to seek help as stigma surrounding mental health declines.”
No-one was available for comment at NHS Fife.