February 1, 2023
Government must fully implement Sinn Féin solutions for CAMHS – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called on the government to fully implement the successful Sinn Féin motion that would reform and resource Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Speaking after the government did not oppose his motion, Teachta Ward said:

“The government has a tactic of not opposing opposition motions as they simply do not want the political fallout of having to vote against improving Children’s Mental Health Services.

“But by not opposing our motion, the Minister has admitted that the government has failed.

“They failed the 4000 children who are waiting on an initial assessment for CAMHS. When this government came into power, the figure was just over 2000. This represents an 86 percent increase under this government.

“They have failed the over 13,000 children waiting on primary care psychology appointments. This was at 7,700 in 2020 when the Minister was appointed. This is a 71% increase under their watch.

“They have failed the children and young people who are reliant on a postcode lottery of treatment. 

“For example, there is a four-week waiting time for appointments with Jigsaw if you live in Wicklow. But if you are a child or young person with a mental health difficulty living in Cork, you will have to wait for 30 weeks before you are seen by Jigsaw.

“They are failing the 741 children who were admitted to hospital for mental health difficulties after presenting A&E.

“They are also failing the GPs that the report outlined have had no choice but to refer children to emergency departments as this was the best option in getting a psychiatric evaluation.

“They are failing the Children who are waiting to be admitted into specialist inpatient care. There are fewer CAMHS inpatient beds available now than when this government came into place. 

“Only 51 out of the 72 CAMHS beds are currently operational, with 16 further beds in danger of closing in Cork.

“Sinn Féin’s motion had a raft of solutions that would dramatically improve children and young persons’ access to mental health treatment.

“I will be holding the government to account on this – they must not play politics with our children’s futures.

“Every child must have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

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