Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin’s “Priorities for Change in Child and Youth Mental Health,” Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, said that young people deserve health service that works for them. He said that multiannual workforce planning, capital investment, and accountability reforms are essential to delivering a better service.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, said that in Government, Sinn Féin would deliver a mental health service for children and young people aged up to 25 that would provide proper early intervention care. He said that the vast majority of life-long mental health conditions develop by 25, but that services currently fail young people in the critical 18-25 category.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“Today we have launched a vision for transformative change in our health services for young people.
“We have set out achievable policies, grounded in reality and based on evidence, to deliver the ambitious change that is needed. Young people deserve a health service that works for them.
“A Sinn Féin Government would take a fresh approach to delivering change in healthcare. We would prioritise multiannual workforce planning, capital investment, and accountability reforms to improve access and reduce wait times.”
Teachta Ward said:
“Our youth mental health services are in crisis with waiting lists for CAMHS increasing by 112% since 2020. 4490 young people are waiting on first-time appointments for CAMHS and 752 are waiting for longer than 12 months.
“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.
“These failures mean that early intervention is passing our young people by. That is unacceptable.
“Sinn Féin are committed to developing a Child and Youth Mental Health Service to deliver high quality care for children and young people up to the age of 25.
“This document today underlines our commitments to delivering real change for young people, workers, and families.”
The Priorities for Change in Child and Youth Mental Health document can be read here.