There is a global emergency in relation to mental health (MH) and healthcare. In the UK each year, 1 in 4 people will experience MH problems. Healthcare services are increasingly oversubscribed, and COVID-19 has deepened the healthcare gap. We investigated the effect of COVID-19 on waiting times for MH services in Scotland. We used national registers of MH services provided by Public Health Scotland. The results show that waiting times for adults and children increased drastically during the pandemic. This was seen nationally and across most of the administrative regions of Scotland. We find, however, that child and adolescent services were comparatively less impacted by the pandemic than adult services. This is potentially due to prioritisation of paediatric patients, or due to an increasing demand on adult services triggered by the pandemic itself.
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