November 29, 2023
Children’s Ombudsman calls for improvement in children’s mental health – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has echoed the calls made by the Children’s Ombudsman, Dr Niall Muldoon, to improve CAMH services.

Deputy Ward was speaking following Dr Muldoon’s presentation to Oireachtas staff at Leinster House.

Teachta Ward said:

“Today the Children’s Ombudsman gave a presentation in Leinster House on the areas that need to be strengthened within child and youth mental health services.

“Dr Muldoon called for changes to legislation, increased and multi-annual budgets for mental health, improved standards within CAMHS and to develop counselling supports within schools.

“I want to echo Dr Muldoon’s comments as the crisis within youth mental health cannot continue, we need action now.

“I was disappointed that the Bill to update the Mental Health Act, 2001, was not prioritised for publication on the Autumn Legislative Programme.

“This delay will likely mean that the Bill will be completed in the lifetime of this Government, given that a general election could be called at any point next year.

“Given the urgency of the reports into CAMHS by the Mental Health Commission, I introduced legislation to regulate CAMHS under the Mental Health Act to give statutory powers of oversight to the Commission.

“This will allow them to oversee the implementation of their recommendations and deliver the needed improvements to CAMHS delivery.

“This would deliver standard operating procedures across all CAMHS teams and end the postcode care that we have today.

“It would also allow for professional misconduct within CAMHS to be investigated, something that has been badly needed since the Maskey Report was published.

“Dr Muldoon called for clarity in Budgets for Mental Health, and for these to be delivered on a multiannual basis to provide certainty to those working within the sector.

“Counselling supports within schools must also be considered, as it can play a crucial role in early intervention.

“I call on the Government to listen to the experts, listen to those working within our mental health services.

“The solutions are there, they just need the political will behind them.

“This Government is lacking that political will and they are out of time. Our young people deserve better.”

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