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Urgent investment needed to cut CAMHS wait times, as waiting lists soar – Mark Ward TD

12 April, 2023 - by Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Mark Ward TD has called on the Minister for Health to prioritise investment in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to reduce extreme wait times for urgently needed mental health services in Dublin.

Teachta Ward was responding to new data released by Parliamentary Question to Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD, which shows that waiting lists for CAMHS are up 360% since January 2020 in CHO 7, which covers Dublin Mid-West.

Teachta Ward said:

“Child and adolescent mental health services are desperately underfunded.

“There are significant vacancies across existing CAMHS teams, and we do not have enough CAMHS teams across the state.

“Waiting lists for CAMHS have risen by 360% to 475 in January 2023 from 132 in January 2020.

“Urgent investment is needed in CAMHS to expand capacity and reduce wait times.

“5% of children in CHO 7, which covers Dublin Mid-West, are waiting longer than a year for their first appointment.

“There are more than 25 children waiting longer than a year, and more than 210 waiting longer than 3 months for an appointment.

“The Minister must produce a plan for capacity expansion and workforce planning to address these waiting lists.

“We do not have enough psychiatrists, psychologists, or specialists in mental health and disability. This is leading to children who need help being turned away from services.

“The Minister for Health must prioritise investment in CAMHS to reduce extreme wait times for urgently needed mental health services.
“Sinn Féin in government would invest in our health service, to ensure that all patients who require mental health treatment can receive high quality care without delay.”

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