February 1, 2022
Government must act now to improve children’s mental health services – Mark Ward TD and Pa Daly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, and TD for Kerry, Pa Daly, have urged all TDs to back the party’s motion in the Dáil this evening to improve mental health services for children and young people.

The motion would make key changes to end the scandal of long waiting lists and over-stretched services.

Speaking today, Teachta Ward said:

“This evening, Sinn Féin will bring forward a motion in the Dáil to protect children’s mental health services. For far too long, mental health services for children and young people have been at crisis point and patients simply aren’t getting the timely, high-quality care that they deserve. This must end.

“On many occasions over the years, I have urged the government to act. Yet time and time again, the government has failed to deliver.

“There are 9,554 children on primary care psychology waiting lists. This is unacceptable.

“Sinn Féin’s motion calls on the government to tackle extreme waiting lists and clinical oversight deficiencies in child and adolescent health services. It demands that the government put in place a proactive strategy for the recruitment and retention of psychologists across CAMHS. It also calls for legislation to end the practice of placing children into adult psychiatric facilities.

“I am calling on all TDs to back Sinn Féin’s motion this evening and protect mental health services for children and young people.”

Teachta Daly said:

“I am urging all TDs in Kerry and across the state to back Sinn Féin’s motion this evening. All children and young people who require mental health supports deserve to receive appropriate and high-quality care that meets their needs. As has been exposed in Kerry recently, there is not enough accountability for the delivery of mental health services and this must change.

“Families affected by the scandal in Kerry CAMHS in recent weeks have spoken of their distress and devastation at the mistreatment their children were subjected to. It is vital that lessons are learnt from this scandal and that action is taken now to support these families and ensure that they get justice.

“Our motion calls for the government to immediately put in place supports for the children and families affected by the malpractice in South Kerry CAMHS. It also demands that a review is conducted and published into the treatment of the South Kerry CAMHS whistleblower and the circumstances around his change in duties which led to his resignation from the service.

“I am urging all TDs to stand up for children’s mental health services and support Sinn Féin’s motion in the Dáil this evening.

“The government cannot continue to kick the can down the road any longer. The time for delivery is now. We must improve mental health services for children and young people without any further delay.

The motion will be debated in the Dáil from 18:15 today