June 1, 2023
Waiting lists for psychology services increase by 78% under this Government  – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has criticised Government following the release of waiting list figures for primary care psychology services, which show a huge increase under this Government.

18,622 people are waiting on primary care psychology services as of April 2023. This was at 10,466 when the Government took office in 2020 – a 78% increase.

Teachta Ward said:

“Waiting lists for mental health services are only going one way under this Government, and that is up.

“When this Government took office, 10,466 people were waiting for a first-time primary care psychology appointment.

“This now stands at 18,622, which is a 78% increase.

“15,698 of those waiting  are young people below the age of 18. This is up from 8,893 in 2020, a 77% increase during the lifetime of this Government.

“What is shocking is the nearly 6,000 young people waiting longer than a year mental health supports.
“Having one child waiting over a year for vital mental health services is not good enough, but having 6,000 is a systemic failure by this Government.

“Primary care psychology provides services for people who are experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties or mild to moderate mental health difficulties.

“We have seen the number of young people waiting on specialist CAMHS appointments rising almost every month with close to 4,500 waiting.

“Minister Butler is quick to cite an increase in referrals as reason to why we have an increase in those waiting for CAMHS but she fails to recognise it is the absolute failure to resource our primary services that is leading to the pressures on CAMHS.

“If young people get the care they need at primary care level, then they are less likely to need the more acute services of CAMHS. 

“Young people are being let down at every stage of mental health care and are being left behind by Government.

“Behind every waiting list figure is a young person with hopes and dreams, and they are being denied their right to reach their full potential.

“What we need now is a change of Government. We need Sinn Féin Ministers for Health and Mental Health that will prioritise early intervention in mental health and delivering services in a timely manner.”

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