Sinn Féin Hits Out At Current Provision Of Mental Health Services For Children

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Tipperary Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne is hitting out at the current provision of mental health services for children saying that there should be no delays in accessing such services.

Sinn Féin  is proposing new legislation to regulate Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services(CAMHS) under the Mental Health Act, which will be debated in the Dáil today.  

The proposed legislation follows the first recommendation that was made by the Mental Health Commission in their report on CAMHS and if passed would give the Commission the statutory powers to oversee and implement the remainder of their 49 recommendations.  Deputy Browne says the reform if implemented will drive improvements and help tackle waiting lists.

The Mental Health Commission’s report into CAMHS highlighted a number of issues with the service  including children lost to follow up, lack of monitoring of psychiatric medicines and unacceptable waiting times for high-risk referrals. The two community health organisations that cover such services in county Tipperary along with the Mid West and South East report a total of 551 children waiting to be seen. The number waiting for 52 weeks or more in CHO3 which includes North Tipperary stands at 63, while for CHO5 which  includes South Tipperary 37 children are waiting for a year or more to be seen.

Deputy Browne says “Children with a dual diagnosis of mental ill-health and an intellectual disability are falling through the cracks as are neurodiversity children”  which underlines the need for regulation of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service  as a matter of urgency.