New Mental Health Service for Children to be Piloted in Scotland - Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity

No Time To Wait

This Mental Health Awareness Week, ECHC’s new pilot service, which aims to tackle growing mental health needs of children in Scotland, has been given the green light.

ECHC’s ‘No Time To Wait’ wellbeing and resilience service is a response to our research which found that over half (59%) of Scottish families have a child who has experienced a mental health concern.

The pilot aims to complement Scotland’s CAMHS services and help to prevent problems escalating to the point where professional intervention is needed.

The service will be piloted in Tranent, East Lothian for two years to ascertain the scale of demand. It will offer a therapeutic drop-in space with a range of creative interventions, including leisure, art, dance, activities, family support and youth work. Every family will have their own ‘Pal’; a trained team member who can support them along their child’s mental health journey.

It will be modelled on our existing Hospital Hub, which delivers very similar interventions to children and families visiting the RHCYP. At its best, it may negate a family’s need for future access to medical support, alleviating the pressures on CAMHS.

ECHC’s ‘No Time To Wait’ service will be transformational. Any parent of a child with mental health issues would like to wave a magic wand and heal them completely. But in the absence of that, being able to come alongside others, to share understanding and talk safely about your experiences, and just to know that you’re not alone, will make all the difference.

Parent of young person with mental health issues

Once proven, it will be scaled and delivered in community settings and available to all children struggling with their mental health, and their families, across Scotland.

Roslyn Neely, CEO of ECHC, said: “More young people than ever before are experiencing mental health problems and the lasting effects of the pandemic have significantly added to the demand for services.

“There is no more time to wait, and we hope that this pilot will help families to look to the future once more with the support of an expert team member who can guide them along their child’s mental health journey.

“Everything we do at the RHCYP supports good mental health, so now we’re taking this into the community. We believe we are best placed to deliver this game-changing project using our unique wellbeing and resilience model which we already use successfully in the hospital.

“Together we have an opportunity to help our children and young people with earlier support for good mental health to improve their wellbeing and avert a potential mental health crisis.”

There is no more time to wait. Together, let’s help every child struggling with their mental health.