Thursday 19 September 2019

'Living hell' as children are placed in adult psychiatric wards

(Stock Image)
(Stock Image)

Aoife Moore

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."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News