A coalition of charities who provide services for children are urging the Scottish Government to spend £25m on improved mental health services for children.

The Scottish Children's Services Coalition (SCSC) has launched a petition urging the government to spend the money, taking from additional money from the last UK Budget, to aid mental health services which are "at breaking point."

The petition, addressed to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, says that "thousands of children and young people in Scotland are missing out on the vital support they so desperately need."

It says greater investment is needed to secure four aims: improved waiting times, increased bed numbers, for children and young people to be treated in appropriate wards, and to create adequate secure unit provision.

It adds: "The absence of appropriate psychiatric inpatient care is a discrimination against children and young people with autism and learning disability, and those involved in the youth justice system."

Research has found that 20% of children have a mental health problem in any given year, and about 10% at any one time. These include issues such as depression, anxiety, suicide, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and self-harm.

The petition also quotes data that says the number of children and young people seen by specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) has increased by 60% in the last two years.

Specifically the SCSC coalition is calling for the £25m share of the £250m extra for mental health services in England announced by the UK Government in the Budget for this year - £1.25bn over the next five years - to go towards Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) north of the border.

Tam Bailie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, in evidence to the UK Joint Committee for Human Rights (JCHR) has raised several concerns about both access to clinical mental health services and the quality of treatment that children and young people in Scotland receive.

Sophie Pilgrim, director of Kindred Scotland and a member of the coalition, said: "We would urge people to really get behind this campaign and sign the petition to ensure that this £25m in additional funding is put into mental health services north of the border.

"At the moment mental health services in Scotland are at breaking point."

She added: "Our health professionals do fantastic work to help people suffering from mental ill health, but this is often seen as a poor relation when compared with physical health.

"A lack of resources in the face of dramatically increasing demand means that we are often asking medical staff to work with one hand tied behind their back.

"Due to a lack of adequate provision hundreds of vulnerable children and young people are being treated in unsuitable adult or paediatric wards, or being sent miles away."

"We urge that the Scottish Government takes this opportunity to go that extra mile and ensure that we have a range of mental health services available in Scotland for those who so vitally need it."

The Scottish Children's Services Coalition (SCSC) describes itself as "a policy-focused collaboration between leading independent and third sector service providers."

The members of the SCSC include Falkland House School in Fife, which specialises in the education and care of boys who require support for learning, Mindroom, a charity dedicated to creating awareness of learning difficulties, Spark of Genius, Who Cares? Scotland, Young Foundations and Kindred.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "As a matter of policy, any health consequentials received by this Scottish Government are always passed on to Scottish health spending, and that will continue to be the case.

"We will look carefully at what consequentials will be forthcoming to Scotland as a result of the UK Budget, and decide where exactly it can best be spent.

"Mental health funding will be a key part of that consideration."

She added: "Scotland is the only country in the UK with a target for waiting times.

"Since we introduced that target we have invested £17 million in these services, plus an additional £15 for a mental health innovation fund, some of which will be used to increase access to CAMHS services and improve training."