February 20, 2024
Children deserve action from Government on ailing mental health services – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has said that the Government is continuing to fail to match promises with action for children in need of mental health services.

Teachta Cullinane was responding to the latest Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card on the Government’s progress against Programme for Government commitments.

The TD for Waterford said that the Mental Health Commission must be given statutory powers to regulate Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to drive improvements, and to force Government and the HSE to end the scandal of children being inappropriately admitted to adult acute psychiatric wards. He said that Sinn Féin would be moving legislation on this in the coming weeks.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“Children deserve access to age-appropriate, high quality, safe care. Unfortunately for many children, this is not what they are getting.

“It is not a surprise that the latest Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card gives Government a failing grade – an E – over its failure to match promises in the Programme for Government with real action to improve care.

“The Government parties promised they would end the scandal of children being inappropriately admitted to adult acute psychiatric wards, but they have neither set a timeframe for achieving this nor resourced the HSE to do it.

“This scathing report follows several reports and statements from the Ombudsman for Children, who has criticised Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) as unsafe. Nobody wants to be saying CAMHS is unsafe, but the reality must be recognised that in many parts of the country, it is not functioning as it should, and children are not getting the care they deserve.

“The Government is continuing to fail to match promises with action for children in need of mental health services. The Mental Health Commission must be given statutory powers to regulate CAMHS to drive improvements, and to force Government and the HSE to end the scandal of children being inappropriately admitted to adult acute psychiatric wards.

“Sinn Féin will be moving legislation to do just this in the coming weeks and I hope that Government and the Oireachtas will support us to empower the Mental Health Commission and improve safe services for children and young people.

“Children deserve action from Government on ailing mental health services – not more lip service.”

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