March 9, 2022
9% increase in children waiting on psychology treatment – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has said that yet another increase in the number of children waiting on psychology treatment is very concerning.

Teachta Ward was speaking after a response to his parliamentary question stated that over 12,000 patients are currently waiting for psychology treatment.

Over 10,000 of those waiting on treatment are children, with more than 4,000 children waiting over a year for an appointment.

This is a 9% increase on the amount of children waiting on Psychology treatment.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said:

“I am very concerned to receive a response to a parliamentary question that stated that over 12,000 people are waiting on psychology treatment.

“Over 10,000 of those waiting on treatment are children, with more than 4,000 children waiting over a year for an appointment with a psychologist.

“This is a 9% increase on the number of children waiting on psychology treatment between figures I received in October 2021 and January 2022.

“This is not sustainable and immediate action is required.

“We have seen recently from the scandal in South Kerry CAMHS where the practice of medicating children without psychological or other therapies can have disastrous effects on children’s health.

“The waiting times vary significantly depending on what area of the country is looked at. For example, in CH06, which includes Wicklow and Dún Laoghaire there are 724 adults and children waiting on psychology appointments.

“Meanwhile, in CH07, which includes my own areas of Clondalkin, Lucan and Palmerstown, there are 2257 in this age group waiting for an appointment.

“We need to move away from postcode politics and have a uniformed approach. Treatment should be based on need, and not where you are living.

“In the response I received, the HSE seems to be using Covid as an excuse for the delays in treatment, but these delays were happening years long before the pandemic.

“These waiting lists are as a result of years of underinvestment and priority in the provision of mental health services by successive governments.

“There seems to be a persistent crisis in the provision of mental health services across the country.

“The government and the HSE have a duty to do better for these children. 

“It is vital that real efforts are made to address these waiting lists. Such deficits in mental health services for children cannot be allowed to continue.”

The response to Deputy Ward’s parliamentary question can be read here and table on the number of patients waiting for treatment can be read here.

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