Public Health Minister Shona Robinson has promised an extra £5.5m worth of investment for mental health services. She has said that this will lead to a 15-20% increase in specialist staff by 2011-12.
Liberal Democrat Health Spokesman Ross Finnie was said to be astounded by the statistics which showed that across all of Scotland’s health board areas, there were 7,126 hospital admissions for self-harm under 16s.
The figures, which run from 1999-2009, peaked in 2000-01 when they hit the high seven hundreds but they have gradually decreased in recent years, reaching a figure of 563 in 2008-09.
Over 16s showed a similar pattern with 160,668 admissions in the same 10 year period and the figures peaked at the beginning of the decade with 16,168 over 16s admitted in 2002-03. The latest figures, for 2008-09, showed there were 14,469 hospital admissions.
Ms Robinson said: “We are aware of the extent of the issue of self-harming and are committed to tackling this.
“This increased workforce will help NHS boards deliver our new waiting time target for access to specialist CAMHS, meaning no-one will wait longer than 26 weeks by March 2013 at the latest,” she added.