Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has described the waiting lists for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) first-time appointments as a complete failure by this government to prioritise young people’s mental health care.
Since this government came into power, there has been a 109% increase on the amount of young people waiting on vital mental health treatment
Some areas have seen a waiting list increase by a startling 700% under this government’s watch.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said:
“Across the state, 4,421 of our young people are waiting for appointments with CAMHS.
“When this government took office in 2020 the waiting list stood at 2115. Under this government, there has been a 109% increase on the amount of young people waiting on vital mental health treatment.
“735 of these children have been waiting for over a year for CAMHS services which is a 209% increase since 2020.
“The increase is right across the state with CHO 2, which covers Mayo, Roscommon and Galway, showing the largest increase of 700% in young people waiting on mental health care.
“My own area of Dublin Mid-West, which is covered by CHO 7, has seen an increase of 240% of young people waiting on a first-time appointment with CAMHS.
“CHO 4, which includes Kerry, has the largest number of young people waiting on an appointment with CAMHS, currently standing at 1000.
“Kerry was the subject of the Maskey report, which was a damning indictment of CAMHS. This report was published in January 2022 and the government has failed to act.
“There have been numerous reports into CAMHS recently, which have shown the inefficiencies by both government and HSE.
“This has led to poorer mental health outcomes for our younger people.
“Sinn Féin have published a plan that will transform child and youth mental health services out of a state of crisis.
“Capital investment and accountability reforms are needed in the sector, along with planning for staff to meet the demands of the service.
“We have set out achievable policies, grounded in reality and based on evidence, to deliver the ambitious change that is needed.
“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.”