Saturday 23 September 2017

Children have no on-call help for mental health issues in 15 counties

Children and adolescents who are in severe mental health distress have no access to an out-of-hours psychiatric team in at least 15 counties. Stock Image
Children and adolescents who are in severe mental health distress have no access to an out-of-hours psychiatric team in at least 15 counties. Stock Image
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Children and adolescents who are in severe mental health distress have no access to an out-of-hours psychiatric team in at least 15 counties.

No on-call service is available in counties Wexford, Cavan, Monaghan, Sligo, Leitrim, Kerry, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Meath, Longford, Westmeath, Laois, Offaly and Louth, according to information obtained in a parliamentary reply by Fianna Fáil spokesman on mental health James Browne.

He said questions had also been raised over the availability of on-call services in Donegal, Waterford and Clare.

"This represents vast swathes of the country which are left without an effective out-of-hours service," he warned.

"It's clear our mental health services have been struggling in recent years due to a lack of investment and increasing demand. Despite this, the Government has continued to under-fund our mental health services. This attitude needs to change.

"It is vital that the availability of out-of-hours mental health services for children is spread evenly across the country. The Mental Health Commission has highlighted that under-investment is one of the factors contributing to the high number of admissions of children to adult psychiatric units."

Irish Independent

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