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Access to psychology services for U18s in Dublin North must improve - Louise O'Reilly TD

5 October, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking in the Dáil on a Sinn Féin motion on Mental Health, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD raised the issue of the availability of a psychology services for under 18s in the Dublin North catchment area.

The Dublin Fingal Deputy said:

“In the last number of months the Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health launched a National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health, a community-led taskforce to take action to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in Ireland. It has had its second meeting only this week and is expected to continue its work for around 12 months.

“However, the reality that there are young people without access to a primary care psychology service undermines the good will and intent of any taskforce.

“In August this year I received a PQ from the HSE that advised me that there is no Primary Care Psychology service to the under 18 population in the Dublin North catchment area. It is scandalous and deeply worrying that in an area as populated, and which is seeing such massive growth, as Dublin North that there is no primary care psychologist available.

“When young people reach out, get talking or look for services, irrespective of the supports that communities may provide, the missing link of these services in some parts of the country is deeply problematic.

“We should have a situation where the changes being authored by the taskforce are working in tandem with services that the health service should be providing. The taskforce, and the Minister, must bring pressure to bear in ensuring that HSE services are in place to supplement the supports the taskforce is designing.

“The establishment of the National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health was welcome, but where there are practical and real steps to be taken now, this should happen.”

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