The First Minister has agreed to act on improving waiting times within child and adolescent mental health services, following pressure from Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood.
She told him during First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd that his government had to get to grips with the “crisis” in mental health support for young people.
As the Official Opposition in the Assembly, Plaid Cymru will now hold the Labour government to account on this promise.
'Through the roof'
Leanne Wood revealed during the session that the numbers of children waiting longer than 16 weeks for mental health support has almost trebled since 2013, to 1,174.
According to Leanne Wood, the facts suggest that there is a crisis in mental health support for young people.
She welcomed the fact that the government had launched a new initiative to support children, but emphaises that it will not reach teenagers.
Leanne Wood drew attention to concerns raised during a visit to her former school, where self-harming is going through the roof.
“I was in a school in my constituency on Friday and was told of rates of self-harm going through the roof,” she said.
“Depression, anxiety and self-harm have become too common amongst a generation who worry about a future of zero-hour contracts, massive student debt, and endless austerity.
“These are individuals who are not covered by interventions for children up to seven years old.
“Things that go wrong during these years can cause problems for life - as I know only too well from my former job as a Probation Officer.”