In a statement to STV, Gina Wilson, Head of Strategy for the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, said: “Before the pandemic, mental health services for children and young people were already stretched, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this.
“Covid-19 has had huge impact on mental health. Children and young people have had to deal with 18 months of worry and uncertainty. Their rights to education, to the best possible health, to play, to see wider family and friends have been impacted. They’ve faced exam stress, school closures, there has been more financial stress on parents, and more families have been pushed into poverty. There has been huge anxiety about the virus itself, and in many cases children and young people have had to deal with bereavement.
“Children and young people have consistently told us that they need mental health support before they reach crisis point. That means investing in community-based mental health services that are accessible. They have said they want more support in schools. We must use resources in the best way and invest in mental health services to support children and young people before they are in a crisis.”