Rhun ap Iorwerth outlines action for improving services

More talking therapies and extra funding for child and adolescent mental health services are needed if we are to give people with mental health problems the support they need, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth has said.

Rhun ap Iorwerth said that the stigma that surrounds mental health was one of the biggest problems that society needs to overcome.

In an Assembly debate, he will also highlight an increase in waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS), noting that the young people waiting more than 16 weeks for an appointment has increased more than doubled in the last 3 years.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“One of the biggest challenges we need to overcome as a society is to overcome the stigma that surrounds mental health problems. One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, and 13% of adults are currently being treated for a mental health problem. There is a role for all of us in being more aware of mental health problems, and being willing to talk.

“We also know that waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) are too long. The number of young people waiting more than 16 weeks for an appointment has shot up from around 400 a month in the summer of 2013 to over 1000 each month throughout 2016.

“Improving the mental health and well-being of young people must be moved up the political agenda. Of course, investing in better support for schools to help safeguard the mental health of teenagers is the starting point. But we also need to look at developing more talking therapies across the board, and we need to work more closely with the health service to develop earlier interventions when problems occur.”

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