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In Ireland, over 750 children wait over 1 year for mental health help

Robert Besser
22 May 2023

DUBLIN, Ireland: Local media reports that some 752 children with mental illnesses have been waiting over one year for mental health services from the Health Service Executive.

This compares with 382 children waiting for more than 12 months for services one year ago.

Additionally, there remains a backlog of 4,490 children on the waiting list at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, as reported by the Irish Mirror.

This is an increase of 1,000 children over one year ago.

Of these, nearly 40 percent have been waiting more than six months for treatment.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is responsible for treating patients suffering from severe mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and those who self-harm.

"Children and adolescents who need mental health care require urgent intervention. These are valuable years for education, socialization and development," noted Professor of psychiatry in Trinity College Dublin, Brendan Kelly, as quoted in the Irish Mirror.

"For children and adolescents, it is critical that services are continuously improved and that care is coordinated with parents, schools and other stakeholders."

Kerry and Cork have been shown to have the largest number of children seeking mental health care,
with 882 children awaiting appointments, and 382 waiting more than one year.

The figures on child mental health care were released by Sinn Fein's health spokesman David Cullinane.

"Child and Adolescent Mental Health services are chronically underfunded and waiting lists are growing year-on-year. Children with mental health challenges are being failed by a poorly resourced system," Cullinane said, as reported by the Irish Mirror.

"We need a comprehensive workforce plan that identifies staffing gaps and substantially increases training places. There needs to be changes within youth mental health, from top to bottom."

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