The north-east’s newly renovated Links Unit was officially opened yesterday by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) facility was refurbished in the wake of concerns over waiting times.
Its £1 million revamp was funded by the Scottish Government and now brings together three specialities previously at different locations.
The hope is it will make services more accessible and user friendly and keep waiting times down.
Visitors to the facility will also be able to make friends with a familiar face – one of the Oor Wullies statues from the Big Bucket Trail, donated by Wood.
The stunning clown-themed The Amazing Oor Wullie was secured for £15,500 – the highest sum paid on the night – at the recent auction to raise money for children’s hospital charity The Archie Foundation.
Speaking at the opening, Ms Freeman said: “I think it’s always really important to listen to the people who use a service about what matters to them.
“I don’t think the centre in and of itself will reduce the demand. I think the centre as part of all of the other work we’re doing, in terms of improving mental health support, will.
“If we can offer support to children and young people much earlier in their period of ill health, then we’re more likely to help them recover from that without it becoming the crisis that needs CAHMS.”
The centre will have therapet dogs available three days a week and, in an effort to reduce travel time, video call sessions will also be offered.
Dr Lynne Taylor, CAMHS clinical director, said: “It’s really important that we get in there and give young people the help and care that we need from the CAHMS service.
“I think it’s important for families to know that the maximum wait is around 8 weeks at present and it shouldn’t increase from that.”