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Waiting lists for CAMHS continue to soar - Mark Ward TD

23 May, 2023 - by Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has described the continued increase in waiting lists for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) first-time appointments as a disgrace.

There is now a record high of 4,490 young people waiting on a first-time CAMHS appointment.

752 young people are waiting for over a year for an appointment with this vital service.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said:

“Nationally, there are currently a record high of 4,490 of our young people currently waiting for appointments with CAMHS. 752 of these children have been waiting for over a year for CAMHS services.

“These are figures I received from the HSE for the end of March.

“I received figures in February, which tell that nationally there has been a 1.2% increase in a month.

“What really concerns me is that there has been an 8.6% increase in young people who are waiting over a year for a first-time appointment.

“It is unacceptable for one young person to be waiting over a year, let alone 752 children.

“CAMHS are for young people with moderate to severe mental health problems and Minister Butler has pointed out the increase in the number of referrals to CAMHS as a contributing factor in the increased waiting times.

“The Minister cannot seem to join the dots in mental health care for young people and if children do not get the early intervention they need at primary care level then they will more than likely need the specialist care provided by CAMHS.

“The latest figures I have received show that over 11,000 children are waiting on an appointment for primary care psychology with over 4,000 children waiting over a year.

“Jigsaw have up to a 30-week wait in some areas.

“This Minister was appointed in July 2020 when the number of children waiting on a first-time appointment with CAMHS was 2112. There has been a staggering 112% increase under her watch.

“This is exacerbated further by an increase of 248% increase in young people waiting over a year on their first-time appointment.

“We can all get lost in statistics but behind each statistic is a young person, with hope, dreams and ambitions who are being denied by this Government the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

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