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Government must not play politics with children’s mental health - Mark Ward TD

2 February, 2022 - by Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin’s motion to protect children and fix children’s mental health services passed in the Dáil last night. 

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD is now calling on government to put in place all the actions that the motion called for, including ending the inappropriate practice of placing children in adult psychiatric wards.

Teachta Ward said:

“The government must not play politics with our children’s mental health. Our motion calling on government to protect children and fix children’s mental health services was passed last night in the Dáil.

“This is welcome but comes with a warning to government. 

“The government has started to tactically not oppose opposition motions, so that they would not have to publicly vote on them. This is their way of avoiding political fallout and scrutiny.

“This tactic is shameful, and would be even more shameful when it comes to our children’s mental health.The public will not be so forgiving if they have pulled this stunt again last night.

“The scandal of South Kerry CAMHS must be learned from. Our motion called for the children adversely affected by the malpractice in Kerry to get immediate help and treatment so that they can begin the road to recovery.

“It also called for a wide range of measures to improve children’s mental health care.

“The litmus test on whether the government is playing politics with our children’s mental health will come when we discuss the pre-legislative scrutiny at the committee this month.

“One of the actions our motion calls for is for government to legislate to stop the practice of admitting children into adult psychiatric wards.

"So far, government has refused to close the loophole that allows this draconian practice to take place.

“In the past two years, over 50 children were inappropriately placed in adult facilities.

"This must stop and, now that government has agreed to our motion, we will find out soon if they did this merely as a political tactic to the detriment of our children’s health.”

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