Kildare South TD and Minister for State Martin Heydon is seeking additional state funding for mental health supports for young people in Kildare.
“The growing demand for mental health supports for young people in Kildare has not been matched by a parallel growth in services here and so young people are experiencing significant difficulty accessing the supports they need, when they need them,” said Minister Heydon.
At a recent meeting with Kildare CYPSC [Children & Young People’s Service Committee] and Kildare LCDC [Local Community Development Committee], the committees outlined to the Minister the resources required to implement an integrated model for youth mental health in Kildare.
“The identified needs include funding to fill vacancies and for additional staffing posts in the primary care psychology services, an additional CAMHS team [Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services] to service the South Kildare area, additional counselling posts and the establishment of a Jigsaw Mental Health project,” he pointed out.
(Jigsaw specializes in early intervention with mental health in the 12-25 age bracket.)
“There is currently no Jigsaw Youth Mental Health project in the county, and given that Kildare has the highest proportion of people under the age of 25 in the State it is essential in my opinion, that we secure a Jigsaw project for County Kildare,” he said.
“I have written to Mary Butler, Minister of State for Older People and Mental Health to highlight the need for this additional investment in mental health supports for young people in Kildare.
Kildare is still playing catch up on the provision of certain services to support our growing population and this is a vital area where additional supports are required.
“There are a significant number of towns with high numbers of young people in which no service is currently provided, such as Kildare Town, Castledermot and Monasterevin and there is a limited service provided in Athy, Rathangan and West Wicklow,” he pointed out.
Most recent figures show that in December 2019, there were 144 young people to be seen or waiting to be seen by CAMHS in the Kildare, West Wicklow and Dublin South area, and of these 144, 65 were waiting to be seen by one of the four CAMHS teams serving Kildare.
“In 2019 there were a total of 21 suicides in County Kildare – 17 males and four females – and only four counties recorded a higher number: Wexford, Cork City, Tipperary and Limerick County,” said Minister Heydon.
The rate of suicide in Kildare has exceeded the national average for the last decade, however, he was able to point towards improvements in the future.
“I am pleased with the progress of plans to develop a new standalone Lakeview acute service on the grounds of Naas Hospital, something that I have fought for over a number of years,” he said.