Saturday 24 August 2019

'Urgent need to address deficits' as children's mental health service has just half the necessary staff levels

  

Concern: James Browne. Picture: Tom Burke
Concern: James Browne. Picture: Tom Burke
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Some parts of the country have less than half the recommended number of staff needed for child and adolescent mental health services.

New figures show counties in the south-east - Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny and south Tipperary - are worst off.

This region has just 44pc of the staff required.

The area covering Kildare, Dublin south-west, Dublin west and Dublin south city has only 43pc of the staff needed. This region makes up almost a quarter of the population.

The figures were supplied by the HSE to Fianna Fáil spokesman on mental health James Browne.

Fianna Fáil is using its private members' time for a debate on mental health services today.

"A new sense of urgency needs to be brought to addressing the deficits in children's services in particular.

"Otherwise the requirements set out by 'A Vision for Change' will never be realised," he added.

"The recent annual report from the Mental Health Commission highlighted the ongoing deficiencies in mental health services for children and indeed services generally.

"What is needed is a clear implementation strategy to bring services up to scratch."

Demand for psychiatric care from children and adolescents is increasing.

More than 2,500 children are now waiting for a first appointment and nearly 300 of these are waiting more than a year.

Irish Independent

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