February 27, 2024
Government must not kick improvements in children’s mental health services down the road – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has said that it is not too late for the government to act to deliver quality care in child and youth mental health services.

Deputy Ward was speaking after Leaders’ Questions where the Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohue, responding to Mary Lou McDonald, confirmed that the government will tonight kick Sinn Féin’s legislation to regulate Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) down the road.

Teachta Ward said:

“Sinn Féin is this evening bringing forward much needed legislation that would regulate CAMHS under the Mental Health Act this week.

“Children deserve better mental health services, and should not not have to wait to access mental health services.

“Yet when this was raised by Mary Lou McDonald at Leaders’ Questions today, Paschal Donohue confirmed that the government will be bringing a timed amendment that will kick this important legislation down the road.

“Our children and their families cannot wait any longer for this intervention.

“Sinn Féin’s bill to regulate children’s mental health services would drive improvements and help tackle waiting lists.

“It is the first step in answering the many reports in CAMHS and implementing the necessary changes to deliver quality care for our young people.

“There is a lot more that needs to be done to improve youth mental health but it is clear that the longer this government is in place, the worse things get.

“There is, however, still time for the government to make the right decision and pass this legislation this week so that we can start to address the issues in CAMHS.

“If this Bill is kicked down the road, then CAMHS will unlikely be regulated in the lifetime of this government – another broken promise.

“I am calling on Government TDs to do the right thing and support Sinn Féin’s bill to regulate CAMHS.”

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