August 9, 2023
Government’s response to Mental Health Commission CAMHS report underwhelming and unacceptable – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has written to the chairpersons of the Oireachtas Health Committee and Oireachtas Sub-Committee on Mental Health to discuss what the government’s response will be to the recent Mental Health Commission’s report into Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Teachta Ward said:

“Last month’s report by the Mental Health Commission into CAMHS was another damning indictment of the government failing children and young people.

“It is a national scandal that the state cannot currently provide an assurance to parents or guardians in all parts of the state that their children have access to a safe, effective and evidence-based service.

“The report has 49 recommendations that the Ministers for Health and Mental Health must accept and implement to reform CAMHS and improve service delivery.

“These aim to improve overall governance where the report highlighted that there is no standardised service and no national director.

“The report also highlighted insufficient budgeting for CAMHS – it is staggering that there is no ring-fenced funding for services, while care teams are unsustainably under-resourced.

“The vast majority of teams have staffing levels below 50% of what is required, and only one CHO said that they had appropriate staffing levels.

“There is also a cliff-edge in our mental health services for young people at 18. There is inconsistent continuity of care, and many young people fall out of services or never access them.

“While this report is damning, it did not come as a shock. CAMHS waiting lists have more than doubled since this government was formed.

“There has been silence from government since the publication of the report and this cannot continue.

“Given the underwhelming response from government on the Mental Health Commission’s full report, I have written to chairpersons of both the Health Committee and Sub-Committee on Mental Health and called for a joint session when the Dáil returns after recess.

“It is not just Sinn Féin calling for this but stakeholders like Mental Health Reform have been calling for the same.

“I am calling for urgent and immediate action by the government and the HSE.”

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