The Welsh Conservatives, on World Suicide Prevention Day, have called on Labour ministers in Cardiff to make sure that people in Wales have better access to mental health support.
There have been alarming figures recently with 1,274 children and young people who were taken to hospital with self-harming issues in 2020/21, up by 39% since 2007/8 when there were 916.
The total number of children and young people admitted to hospital for self-harming since 2007 stands at 14,651 with two-in-five – or 40% - of those being admitted over the last five years.
Nearly two-in-three patients across Wales are waiting more than a month for a first appointment with Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services as of July, which is the worst on record.
The number of children and young people waiting for an appointment for more than four weeks has risen by 54% in just one month from 280 to 482, with 245 children and young people waiting more than eight weeks for an appointment in July 2021, with 162 of them being in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Mental Health, James Evans MS, said:
“World Suicide Prevention Day is vitally important for spreading the message that no one has to suffer in silence and should always seek support as soon as possible.
“People in Wales need more support than ever with the mental health crisis being exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Labour ministers need to show they are serious about tackling mental health by making sure money gets to the frontline and third sector charities as quickly as possible.
“It’s high time the Welsh Labour Government finally listened and set up a network of mental health crisis centres that are open around the clock for people to access in mental health emergencies and started to look at introducing a new Mental Health Act to replace the current outdated legislation.”