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Delays in mental health treatment

More than a year's wait for mental health treatment is common in parts of Scotland, according to Audit Scotland's Overview of Mental Health Services report.

The public spending watchdog has found that, in two areas covered by NHS Highland, waits of between 58 and 77 weeks are routine for psychological therapies.

Nearly half of older people referred to psychology services are waiting longer than 18 weeks on Tayside, it says, although the overall situation has improved since last year.

Meanwhile, young people are also experiencing delays on Tayside and in Highland and Greater Glasgow and Clyde, despite significant recent developments and strong support among health professionals.

The report says: "Basic management information on waiting times, staffing levels, vacancies and caseloads is needed for agencies to plan and manage mental health services more effectively.

"In areas where we carried out fieldwork, we found evidence of children and adolescents waiting a long time to access services. This is likely to reflect the picture across Scotland."

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Overview of Mental Health Services