'Living hell' as children are placed in adult psychiatric wards
Children with severe mental health problems are being admitted to adult psychiatric wards due to a lack of age-appropriate facilities.
Concerned parents in Co Wexford say they are currently in a "living hell" as the county's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) continue to deplete.
One father, whose 16-year-old son has attempted suicide, said his child is being denied essential treatment.
"The suicide attempt was terrifying, a scary experience. He's bipolar and was hearing voices telling him to harm himself," he said.
"We were actually waiting for an emergency CAMHS appointment to see a psychiatrist and it was in that time he tried to hang himself."
Another mother, who is a single parent to her 16-year-old son, said his condition has severely deteriorated after being kept in an adult facility.
"I had been trying for a number of years to get help for Adam, and he was brought to the adult psychiatric ward in Waterford twice," she said.
There has been no full-time psychologist in Wexford since last July, and the county is now serviced by a doctor who conducts emergency appointments, travelling from Galway two days a week.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "There are widely acknowledged difficulties in recruiting and retaining specialist CAMHS staff. Recruitment efforts continue, including local and international advertising. A CAMHS consultant post has recently been filled in north Wexford and there is currently one post vacant in south Wexford."