Waiting lists for Kildare children's mental health appointments reach "crisis point"

Health

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Waiting lists for mental health appointments reach "crisis point"

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of people trying to access specialist mental health services.

Currently there are 250 people on the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services within Co. Kildare.

Fianna Fail TD James Lawless has released figures from the Health Service Executive which show that there has been a 10% surge in the number of children and young people waiting for 12 months - or longer - for an appointment nationwide.

Dep. Lawless said: "The situation  with the CAMHS waiting list is now reaching crisis point."

He added it's alarming that that there has been a double digit increase in the numbers waiting for a year.

The overall waiting list has increased  by 4%.

"It's perfectly clear for all to see that the CAMHS service is simply not able meet current demand."

Dep. Lawless stated if this trend continues there will be well over 3,000 children stuck on the waiting lists before the end of 2018.

"This is unacceptable and shows that the mental health strategy is floundering."

He pointed out that the these are children "stuck on waiting lists lists (hoping) to get an appointment."

He stressed it could be many months before they actually get the intervention they need.

The figures were also condemned by another Fianna Fail TD Fiona O'Loughlin, who said that recruitment is the central issue.

"A staff complement of 1,237 is required for a full CAMHS service," said Dep. O'Loughlin.