New mental health centre opens for young people in Aberdeen
The health secretary has opened the new Links Unit after £1m funding from the Scottish Government.
A new mental health centre for children and adolescents has opened in Aberdeen.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman officially opened the Links Unit at the City Hospital.
NHS Grampian announced plans for the facility last year when the health board had one of the worst waiting times in Scotland for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Latest figures show between April and the end of June that around 51% of patients were seen within the 18 week target time.
The Scottish Government funded the £1m refurbishment of the unit.
Ms Freeman said: "Facilities such as this one are the future for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
"It has been purpose designed for children and young people with mental health issues and there are a number of services available under the one roof.
"Having that co-ordination between services is absolutely crucial."
It comes as mental health services for young people have seen an increase in demand.
Since 2013, child and adolescent mental health services have experienced a surge in demand with an increase of around 8400 referrals a year.
Dr Lynne Taylor, clinical director for CAMHS, said: "Prior to moving to the Links Unit, our teams were spread across three locations at Royal Cornhill and Foresterhill.
"This meant we wasted valuable time travelling between sites when we could be seeing patients.
"Now we are able to work in a much more coordinated way and feedback from our young people and their families suggests they are grateful for this fantastic new facility."