January 27, 2022
HSE must be taken to task to reappoint National Director for Mental Health – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has said that the HSE must now appoint a National Director for Mental Health in the wake of the report into South Kerry CAMHS.

The horrific situation in South Kerry has shown the lack of governance and oversight within the HSE at the highest level.

Teachta Ward said:

“There was a National Director for Mental Health in place until 2016. This role ceased during a bureaucratic restructuring process.

“There has been no National Director for Mental Health since, despite the Programme for Government containing a commitment to reinstate the position. There has been a lack of urgency and political will to fill the role.

“The National Director for Mental Health should have the authority but, more importantly, be  accountable for overall governance for mental health within the HSE. They would also report directly to the Director General of the HSE and the Minister.

“I have been calling for this reappointment to happen from the moment I became Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on Mental Health.

“What was allowed to happen in South Kerry was truly shocking. Vulnerable children and young people have been failed. 

“It caused them serious harm, and has had traumatic consequences for 46 children and their families. It is a damning indictment of the lack of governance in this area.

“I welcome that, during a debate on youth mental health last night, Minister Butler will now be calling for the appointment of a National Director of Mental Health

“She admitted that she has been unsuccessful to date in this appointment, and has met some resistance from within the HSE. It is time that HSE were taken to task on this matter.”

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