Watchdog warns care of suicidal children needs to be improved
Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon said he is concerned at the care of suicidal children.
The watchdog's annual report highlighted the lack of progress in relation to young people struggling with serious mental health issues who are trying to access the emergency supports they need.
"We have told the HSE we had serious concerns about how suicidal young people access emergency services, and the difficulties faced in certain parts of the country," he said.
"All children who need an assessment of mental health in emergency departments should be able to access this quickly - not days after the event.
"We have found an inequity in psychiatric consultants cover around the country.
"I would urge the HSE to address problems with consultant psychiatrists' out-of-hours contracts to ensure children and adolescents have access to the services they need, when they need them. State agencies need to co-operate in the best interests of children."