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More money for mental health service

The Scottish public health minister has pledged a further £3.5m to help provide care for children with mental health problems.

The fund will be used to recruit 180 specialist staff over the next six years and presents the start of a U-turn on the "longstanding" underfunding of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Scotland.

Speaking to Holyrood's Health Committee, Shona Robison said the needs of mentally ill children needed to be addressed and that £2m of new money will be used to develop specialist services.

The additional funding for the CAMHS brings the overall total to £12.5m, which will be used to increase the number of clinical and masters-trained psychologists through extra training places and posts.

Ms Robison said: "We have identified a further investment of £1m this year, 2009/10, rising to £3.5m by 2011/12 to support an increase in specialist CAMHS workforce.

"This means that over a three-year period – 2009 to 2012 – we will spend an additional £12.5m on CAMHS."

She added that the new staff and services will be a "significant improvement" on the current state of mental health care for children in Scotland.

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