ONE of the many problems of the UK's interminable constitutional wrangling, be it Brexit or Scottish independence, is that so many other alarming issues fall below the radar.

This week it emerged that a record number of Scots are now being sectioned for psychiatric treatment.

In the space of a decade - from 2008/9 to 2018/19 - the number of people subject to emergency detentions, short term detentions and compulsory treatment orders has spiralled 47 per cent, from 4,114 to 6,028.

Given that this is a last resort measure, taken only when someone's mental health has crumbled to a degree that they pose a danger to themselves and possibly others, this is a major red flag.

READ MORE: UK first as man suffers psychotic breakdown brought on by Brexit stress 

Particularly worrying is the trend for young people. The biggest increase in short-term detention certificates (detentions of up to 28 days) has occurred among women under 25, climbing steadily from 142 a decade ago to 316 last year - including 124 aged 17 or younger.

Women under 25 in Scotland now account for the highest rates of emergency detentions (detentions of up to 72 hours) while the number of 16 and 17-year-old boys held in hospital on emergency certificates suddenly spiked to 26 last year, having averaged only 11 over the previous nine years.

The number of under-18s in Scotland undergoing electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) or artificial nutrition has grown substantially according to the data on T3 certificates (issued to authorise treatment in a patient who is incapable of consent).

In the seven years to March 2016, only 11 T3 certificates were issued authorising ECT in young people. In the past three years alone that has risen to 13.

In the case of artificial nutrition - an emergency treatment for eating disorders - there were 128 T3 certificates issued in the past two years, compared to 143 over a six year period from 2009 to 2015.

All of this is coinciding at a time when the NHS in Scotland is grappling with a record shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists.

Around three in every 10 young people referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) wait longer than 18 weeks before being seen, rising to more than half for young people in Fife, Lothian and Tayside.

READ MORE: Surge in young people detained for psychiatric treatment

This is all the more concerning when evidence shows that to secure a referral in the first place many teenagers need to be at breaking point.

In the 12 months to June this year, 9,422 CAMHS referrals were rejected: young people whose cases were deemed unsuitable or not yet acute enough for psychiatric intervention.

Something is going very wrong with mental health. It is time get to the root of it, and act.