The mental health of our children and young people is never out of the headlines, and even more so as we mark Children’s Mental Health Week.

Currently around one in six young people in Scotland under the age of 17 need specialist mental health support.

It's such a high number for a small nation. But I see it daily in my work as a consultant CAMHS psychiatrist.

And without our timely help, a significant number of these young people will develop serious mental illness.

Families and loved ones just want the support and treatment their child so rightly deserves.

But sadly, we have a mental health crisis on our hands.

As a college we recently commented on new research which revealed some young people are waiting up to three years to see a specialist.

The statistics also showed a postcode lottery across the country, with one patient in NHS Highland waiting 150 weeks for their first appointment.

Another patient waited 111 weeks in NHS Tayside and another, 91 weeks in Ayrshire and Arran.

In NHS Lothian there was a young patient who waited two years between CAMHS appointments.

I find it quite unbelievable that waiting time numbers are still way off the Scottish Government’s own targets.

But good quality of care is much more than waiting times.

The truth is there aren’t enough resources to often follow up with our patients.

It takes 13 years to train as a psychiatrist, but we also have many clinicians retiring,  leaving a gap in services. Working in a system where there is a huge gap between mental health and physical health isn’t ideal either.

Specialist services which most people take for granted in physical healthcare are something we’re still fighting for.

So as clinicians what can we offer as solutions on the table?

We’d urge the Scottish Government to launch an urgent action plan for CAMHS.

It doesn't make sense that a child gets a different level of service depending on where they live. We need to look at regional working to help widen access to specialists.

We also need more trained staff to allow us to deliver specialist trauma-informed care; in fact, we need around 500 more workers in CAMHS of all professional types.

There also needs to be much greater co-ordination between services so every young person gets the right support at the right time.

If a young person isn’t clinically in need of CAMHS, then they should be given access to the right care which is particularly relevant for children who are neurodiverse.

Early intervention that is informed by experience of trauma also needs looked at. It’s necessary, to prevent a generation of people suffering with mental health difficulties in the future.

Above all we want the Scottish Government to increase spending and keep their own promises of 10% of the total NHS spend going towards mental health and 1% for CAMHS by 2026.

For the sake of all our children and for future generations.

Dr Kandarp Joshi is chair of the CAMHS Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland