Children and young people at risk as mental health services in Cork and Kerry in turmoil

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Speaking Tuesday morning Deputy Pat Buckley has said the inability of the government to address the crisis in children’s and youth mental health services in Cork and Kerry show they are not fit to run the health service.

The TD also called for increased and targeted investment to address the staffing crisis and ease soaring waiting lists.  Buckley said: “Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have been in a state of crisis across the State for some time now – and Cork and Kerry is no different.

“Despite commitments to improve mental health services by this government, the situation for children and young people has got worse.

“Figures released to my colleague and Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD have shown that the staffing deficit in CAMHS teams is so severe that the services need a €40m investment to address crippling staff shortages.

“To put this into context, there is a shortfall of 37 clinical posts in CAMHS for Cork and Kerry where posts are unfilled for psychiatry and psychology, nurse specialists in mental health, social worker posts, and therapy posts.

“This means that countless children and young people in Cork and Kerry are not receiving the mental health supports they need within the necessary timeframes.

“This situation is the result of severe mismanagement of both mental health services and the health service by Fine Gael and it will take a huge effort to reverse the damage which they have done through policy failures.

“The only way out of this situation is increased and targeted investment to recruit and retain staff and to increase capacity in Cork and Kerry – only these measures will ease soaring waiting lists for access to CAHMS services and save lives.”

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