THE Scottish Government will take forward recommendations on improving mental health treatment for young people after it was revealed almost 6000 children referred to mental health services over nine months were rejected.

A total of 29 recommendations were made in the Audit of Rejected Referrals to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) report, which was published one year ago this week.

Among the proposals was a call for the Government to review and potentially restructure the current system if necessary.

Between the report being published on June 29, 2018, and the end of March this year around 5700 children and young people referred to the service were rejected.

A child or young person is rejected for referral when it is deemed Camhs is inappropriate treatment.

One in five referrals was rejected across all health boards during the audit period in February 2018, the report found.

It said decisions usually happen quickly, with most made on the basis of paper referrals rather than face-to-face assessments.

It was also revealed this week that the suicide rate for 15 to 24-year-olds in Scotland is at a 10-year high.

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) had been urging ministers to immediately implement the recommendations, having previously promised to take action.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed yesterday that the recommendations would be taken on board.

“We will take forward the recommendations that are made in that report,” she said.

“We had a review, the audit of rejected referrals, which reported some months ago. One of the outcomes of that was the establishment of the Children and Young People’s task force.

“I understand the task force itself will publish a set of recommendations next week and we look forward to receiving that.

“Amongst other things, these recommendations will help inform the development of the Community Mental Health Wellbeing service.

The First Minister added: “We work closely with organisations like SAMH, we always take seriously what they say and we always take seriously the recommendations they make, and that will be the case for the report that they have published today.”

Ahead of Sturgeon’s statement, SAMH chief executive Billy Watson said the situation required an urgent response.

“Achieving positive outcomes for young people and their families was at the heart of this audit, yet one year on, young people are still being rejected from mental health services,” he said. “This must be hugely disappointing for families across Scotland who need help.

“The situation is urgent and must be a priority – our young people can’t wait any longer.

“The Scottish Government made promises a year ago, and today we call on them to deliver on those commitments,” he added.