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Significant waiting times to access Jigsaw youth mental health service in Fingal - Louise O'Reilly TD

13 August, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said the waiting times for the Jigsaw youth mental health service in Fingal is worrying and that the organisation need more funding to match demand for services. 

Teachta O’Reilly said: 

“Youth mental health services are under huge strain nationwide due to the recruitment and retention crisis affecting the health service and because of funding shortages. 

“Indeed, in an area where there are 2,700 children waiting to be seen by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) there is a staggering 13 vacant consultant posts and a shortage of psychiatric nurses. 

“Fingal has not escaped these pressures and youth mental health services here are also under significant pressure. 

“Figures released to me by the HSE through a Parliamentary Question have shown there are significant wait times for counselling appointments with Jigsaw, the mental health service which provides vital supports to young people, in Fingal.

“Demand for the Jigsaw service in Fingal and across the State continues to grow, however, the provision of resources has not kept pace. As a result there are difficulties in meeting the target waiting time of 4 working weeks in Fingal. 

“Every expert in child and adolescent mental health will tell you that early intervention is absolutely vital in avoiding enduring and worsening problems in the future.  Yet, these figures reveal that if a child or young person seeks out care they are in all likelihood going to be faced with extended waiting periods which are simply unacceptable and put them and their mental health at a very serious risk. 

“We know that when CAMHS and Jigsaw are able to assess and care for young people they do an excellent job with often extremely good results. However, currently, this is often not possible because of shortages in funding, neglect of the services by government, and the pervading recruitment and retention crisis in the health service.

“We need to see funding increased to match demand for the Jigsaw service in Fingal and across the State. This is quite literally lifesaving treatment and it is currently not readily available for those that need it."

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