A new service supporting the mental health needs of children and young people in Scotland will be piloted in Tranent.

Developed by Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC), the ‘No Time To Wait’ wellbeing and resilience service is a response to the charity’s research, which found that 59 per cent of Scottish families have a child who has experienced a mental health concern.

The service will be piloted in Tranent for two years and aims to complement Scotland’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) services.

No specific location has been confirmed but details are expected to be ironed out in the coming weeks.

The service will offer a therapeutic drop-in space with a range of creative interventions, including leisure, art, dance, activities, family support and youth work.

Every family will have their own ‘pal’: a trained team member who can support them along their child’s mental health journey.

Once proven, the service will be scaled and delivered to families across Scotland.

Kate Metzner, parent of a 14-year-old who suffers from major depression, suicidal ideation and anxiety, is supporting the charity’s new service.

Kate said: “Having a child with mental health problems affects the entire family and is very isolating.

“You can’t leave your child at home by themselves, you have to hide anything they could harm themselves with, you can’t have people over, you can’t organise play dates for siblings… and all the while, as the parent, you’re blaming yourself.

“ECHC’s No Time To Wait service will be transformational. Being able to come alongside others, to share understanding and talk safely about your experiences, and just to know that you’re not alone, will make all the difference.”

Roslyn Neely, CEO of ECHC, said: “More young people than ever before are experiencing mental health problems compared to previous generations, and the lasting effects of the pandemic have significantly added to the demand for services.

“Everything we do at the Royal Hospital for Children & Young People supports good mental health, so now we’re taking this into the community. We believe we are best placed to deliver this game-changing project using our unique wellbeing and resilience model.

“We have an opportunity to help children and young people with earlier support for good mental health to improve their wellbeing and avert a potential mental health crisis.”

Councillor Kenny McLeod, ward councillor for Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry, said: “I think this is a wonderful initiative for Tranent. Tranent is the ideal place for such a trial, with such a big catchment area and with schools like Ross High benefitting from it.”