Sir, – As a coalition of leading providers of care and support to vulnerable children and young people, we echo the call by the Scottish Association for Mental Health in its manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections for “radical action” to combat a growing mental health crisis.
We have for some time raised concerns over a potential lost generation of vulnerable children and young people, whose mental health is being impacted even further by the pandemic.
It should however be highlighted that prior to the pandemic, cases of poor mental health were at unprecedented levels and there are a growing number of vulnerable children who cannot access services.
Our children are remarkably resilient, but the frightening statistics on the mental health of our young people create a compelling case for a national crusade to address what is a mental health pandemic, underpinned by considerably greater resourcing.
Unless the government takes urgent action now to improve access to services, this young generation will be destined for a future of mental ill health, with resultant longer-term consequences.
As the Scottish Parliament deliberates the draft budget in advance of the elections, we would urge the political parties to make this a budget for mental health, massively increasing investment in support services and intervention strategies, well beyond current provision.
This mental health crisis is one we can address, but it will require a similar energy, drive and commitment to that which was demonstrated for Covid-19 if we are to achieve this and prevent this generation of young people giving up on their futures – and themselves.
Kenny Graham, Falkland House School;
Lynn Bell, LOVE Learning; Stephen McGhee, Spark of Genius;
Niall Kelly, Young Foundations.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition.
Why would anyone want the status quo?
Sir, – In his letter (Time has come for change to Holyrood political scene, Courier, February 10), Robert Scott asserts that voting SNP is a “non-starter”, irrational and positively “harmful”, not just for Scotland but the whole of the UK.
As depressingly morbid prognoses go, that’s got to be down with the lowest.
But it’s at this point Mr Scott loses credibility.
For the vast majority of voters know that spending constraints have been imposed on Scotland by this British Tory Government. It is London, not Scotland, who ultimately control the purse strings in this UK.
If Mr Scott really wants a fairer society, as the majority in Scotland presumably do, then why on earth would he want to maintain the status quo?
If he really wants Scottish Governments to have the powers to bring investment for decent housing, to eradicate poverty and provide fair and proper social support for those in need, then why would he maintain that those responsibilities should be held by a British state that has indulged in decades of austerity, low wages and wealth inequality. Right now, only the SNP is committed to restoring the economic powers enjoyed by other independent nations to be deployed for Scotland and its citizens.
Scotland’s independence is the vital link to realise that vision of a better Scotland Mr Scott and now the majority of Scots support, here and now.
Snow-way that pedestrians matter
Sir, – At one time it was normal for householders to clear pavements of snow for everyone’s benefit.
Now it would appear that pedestrians don’t matter as many pavements are blocked by big piles of snow dumped by inconsiderate motorists clearing their cars and driveways.
With the streets cluttered with wheelie bins which have no hope of being emptied for two weeks there is not much hope of pavement ploughs getting down many of the side roads.
The situation will be even more dangerous when the piles of snow start melting then freeze up at night.