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Mental health services for Meath children and teens chronically understaffed – Tóibín

22 June, 2017

Sinn Féin TD for Meath West, Peadar Tóibín has said that there is the chronic understaffing of mental health services for children and teenagers in Meath.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health CAMHS teams, which come under the auspices of the HSE in the Meath and Midlands region, have just over half of the staff they need to fulfil their duties.

An Teachta Tóibín said:

“Community teams for child and mental health services are desperately short of staff. The Community Health Organisation Area which contains Meath, has only 57% of the necessary staff in this area.

“This information, released to my colleague Deputy Louise O’ Reilly by the HSE, is very distressing. It comes only days after a Unicef report highlighted that Ireland has the fourth highest teen suicide rate the in the EU.

“There is not a community in the area that hasn’t been affected by the tragedy of teen suicide. Yet it’s clear that the government are unequipped to tackle this devastating problem. Nationwide the picture is similarly bleak with 583 posts in the CAMHS services unfilled.

“A Vision for Change, published eleven years ago, was seen as the elixir for the mental health services and became government policy. However, the progressive proposals are not being implemented – owing partly to a broader problem of recruitment and retention of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare staff.

“Young people, families and communities are being failed. We are calling on the government to resolve staff recruitment and retention issues and to tackle key issues such as working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities, and pay as a matter of urgency.” 

Note: Please see the PQ information in question attached

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