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Admission of 16 children to Kerry adult mental health unit is a damning indictment of government's approach

6 January, 2016 - by Martin Ferris TD

Sinn Féin TD for Kerry Martin Ferris has reacted angrily to the news that 16 children we admitted to the adult mental health unit in Kerry General Hospital between February 2014 and last September.

Deputy Ferris said;

"This shocking news is a damning indictment of the approach taken by Fine Gael and the Labour Party to the provision of mental healthcare in this state. It is completely unacceptable that children have been admitted to adult units. Such situations are occurring due the government's underfunding and under-resourcing of this much neglected branch of the health service.

"The lack of beds and age-appropriate facilities, within the mental health system, is something that Sinn Féin has been calling on the government to address for quite some time.

"We recognise that the delivery of mental health care for younger people is something that requires specific attention. As part of our comprehensive health policy, Sinn Féin is advocating for an increased number of child and adolescent beds to be made available in hospitals while also increasing the numbers of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service teams. This is an aspect of the ‘Vision for Change’ strategy that has not been met.

"A properly funded mental health care service with an appropriate focus on the needs of younger people would go some way to ensuring that these things do not happen. Unfortunately, this view is the polar opposite to what Fine Gael and the Labour Party have been implementing while in government.

"I don't think government TDs in Kerry have anything of which to be proud as they have stood over and endorsed the approach taken by the government. They should hang their heads in shame this evening."

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