One young person has been left waiting more than three years for specialist mental health support, according to new figures.

Details revealed under Freedom of Information showed that as of October 1, 2020 one patient had waited 1,126 days for help in the NHS Highland area.

At the same time, 431 patients in the same health board were waiting 12 months or more for an appointment with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) - the largest number anywhere in Scotland.

The data, gathered by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, also revealed that as of September 30, 2020 there were 26 patients in NHS Lothian who had been waiting two years or more for CAMHS help.

In the NHS Fife area, as of December 8 last year, one patient had been waiting 826 days.

In NHS Ayrshire and Arran another patient had been waiting a total of 666 days by October 30, 2020.

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Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “This shows the tragic state of child and adolescent mental health services even before the pandemic struck. The SNP should be ashamed.

“At a critical moment in their life children are waiting years for help. Staff are working around the clock but they’ve never had the support, resources or early interventions.”

The Liberal Democrats released the figures ahead of Thursday’s Scottish Parliament election, where Willie Rennie hopes to make gains.

Rennie said that if the electorate vote for the SNP or a pro-independence majority then “nothing will change”.

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He insisted: “The stark choice is between a nationalist majority that will prioritise independence or Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs who will put recovery first with a needle-sharp focus on Scotland’s mental health crisis.”

HeraldScotland: Lib Dem leader says targets haven't been met due to "badly neglected services". Credit: PALib Dem leader says targets haven't been met due to "badly neglected services". Credit: PA

The Scottish Government set a target of at least 90% of patients waiting no more than 18 weeks for CAMHS care.

But Rennie argued that “badly neglected services haven’t come close to meeting the treatment targets for seven years”.

The Lib Dem leader said his party had secured an additional £120 million for mental health care through budget negotiations with the SNP.

However, he added that this is “only the start of my ambition”.

He declared: “I want an extra £400 million to double staff training, put many more professionals into schools and GP surgeries for easy access, create new walk-in crisis centres, and abolish rejected referrals so there is no wrong door.”