CALLS are being made for care bosses in the Borders to reverse their decision to withdraw mental health support services from schools.

Campaigners believe the plug being pulled on the classroom support will put lives at risk.

The Community Mental Health Workers Service, which operates in primary and secondary schools across the region, is being ditched this summer.

But union chiefs are demanding a full review is carried out before the service ends on July 31.

Unite regional officer Lyn Turner told us: “This decision makes no sense whatsoever to people who care about vulnerable young people.

"Young adults are being bombarded with negative images and videos in social media that pose a real threat to their mental health, leaving them feeling inadequate and anxious.

"The pressure on our young people, especially during exam time, is immense and this decision will add to their anxiety.

"This makes the decision to close their support network when the schools are closed, all the more irresponsible and ill-thought out.”

The Community Mental Health service, which is jointly funded by NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council, employs a total of three workers to provide mental health support to children with complex issues in Borders schools.

The service is operated by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Ms Turner added: "Our members in CAMHS are rightly concerned about the cuts to this service.

"But importantly they have built up a rapport with service users and now feel they are letting them down.

"Mental illness is not something you can put on hold until a new model is up and running. Young people with a mental illness need continuity of care.

"NHS Borders are literally putting young people’s lives at risk."

The move has also sparked criticism from GPs, pastoral care teachers and school nurses.

But the decision by NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council, which is part of a wider review, has been defended.

Elaine Torrance, Chief Officer, Health & Social Care Integration, said: "There has been a review of how best to continue to provide a sustainable equitable service to young people in schools as part of a broader review of mental health support services for young people.

"The review has made recommendations based on good practice that will enable more young people to get the right support at the right time.

"Work is now progressing to develop a more sustainable model of provision that will offer a comprehensive support not only in term time.

"However, we can advise that the current arrangements and provision will be kept in place and continued until the new provision is in place.

"We can therefore reassure young people and families that there will be no reduction in service provision during this transition process."

Ms Torrance added that the redesign of service won't see a reduction in financial investment.

She added: "We would like to take the opportunity to clarify that there it was never the intention to remove services to young people but to recommission and modernise the service in light of changing demands.

"There will be no reduction of investment.

"This continues to be an area of priority for the Children and Young People’s Leadership group.”