January 29, 2022
Sinn Féin announce Dáil motion to improve children’s mental health services – Mark Ward TD, Pa Daly TD and David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, and TD for Kerry, Pa Daly, have announced the party will bring forward a motion in the Dáil next week to protect and improve children’s mental health services.

The Private Member’s Motion will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday and urges the government to address the growing crisis in mental health services for children and young people.

Speaking today, Teachta Ward said:

“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.

“Mental health services must receive adequate funding and resourcing to ensure that they are fit for purpose. It has been clear for sometime now that mental health services in this country are scandalously over-stretched. Year after year, I have raised this with the government but they have failed to act.

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

“Our 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 and protect mental health services for children and young people.”

Teachta Daly said:

“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, there is not enough accountability for the delivery of mental health services and this must change.

“Families affected by the scandal in Kerry CAMHS this week 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 next week.”

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, said:

“It’s time to protect mental health services for children and young people. Waiting lists are far too long and services are overstretched. The government must act now. There can be no more delays or excuses.”

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