Sinn Féin TD for Kerry, Pa Daly, has again highlighted the lengthy Cork and Kerry CHO waiting lists for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) first-time appointments.
Teachta Daly said:
“CHO 4, which includes Kerry, is the worst area in the country for those waiting, with figures released today stating that 976 children are awaiting appointments.
“Kerry is the epicentre of this crisis, and whilst dealing with the national issue important, it is clear families and children in the county are being left behind.
“The Maskey report, which was a damning indictment of CAMHS, was published in January 2022. There has been little to no action since then, aside from further reports telling many Kerry parents what they already know: that CAMHS is not fit for purpose.
“Time is simply running out for many, as they grow older without the support they need. For those who were victims of the deficiencies in the past, many have spoken to me about how they wish to see what happened to them never happen again.
“To give them that assurance, we need to have a plan that will transform child and youth mental health services.
“Sinn Féin have just such a plan, with capital investment and accountability reforms prioritised.
“Staff and workforce planning is crucial also. Anything short of this will fail, and if we do not learn the lessons of the CAHMS scandal, there will be more and more children let down in the future.”