SERIOUS concern for a lack of mental health services in Kildare was highlighted this week with news that there are 25 unfilled mental health posts.
Fianna Fáil TD for South Kildare, Fiona O’Loughlin criticised the slow delivery of urgently needed mental health posts which are required to fulfil the commitments made under the national mental health strategy, A Vision for Change.
In figures acquired through Parliamentary Question, the Health Service Executive confirmed that just the Kildare and Wicklow area currently have 25 unfilled posts compared to just four posts in the Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Cavan area.
“The government’s failures in children’s mental health services has been highlighted in the latest report card from the Children’s Rights Alliance released last week and these figures only reiterate that,” said Deputy O’Loughlin.
“It is clear that this government is leaving children with mental health issues behind. A Vision for Change has still not been fully implemented, twelve years after it was published, waiting lists for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are unacceptably long; and children are still being treated in adult psychiatric units. These are clear failures that this government is simply not addressing effectively.”
She said that staffing across the CAMHS services is one of the key problems, with just over half the required number in place.
“Unless there is a concerted effort to prioritise children’s mental health services, more children will continue to fall through the cracks.
It’s completely unacceptable that a young person can only access out of hour’smental health services by going to a hospital Emergency Department. This is a wholly inappropriate environment for them to be forced into, she said.