Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has criticised the unacceptable waiting lists for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Dublin South West.

Crowe made his comments after a response he got to a Parliamentary Question which shows that 24 children are waiting up to 6 months to access this vital service in Dublin South West.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The latest figures regarding the long wait some children are facing to access mental health services in Dublin South West are deeply worrying.

“CAMHS is available for all young people and their families who are experiencing mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, and psychosis.

“50 children in Dublin South West are currently waiting up to 3 months for an appointment with CAMHS, 24 children are waiting up to 6 months, while 7 children are waiting up 9 months.

“The HSE has a target that no young person should wait more than 3 months for a CAMHS appointment and they are clearly breaking that.

“No one, especially a young person in a mental health crisis, should have to wait months for an appointment. A cry for help from whatever quarter should be heard and seen as quickly as possible.

“The reply to my Parliamentary Question stated that there is a vacancy for a Principal Clinical Psychologist in the CAMHS service in Dublin South West. I am calling on the Minister for Health to ensure that this vacancy is urgently filled.”

Crowe continued:

“The staff running CAMHS are working extremely hard and in difficult conditions. The long waiting lists and the crisis in mental health services stem from Fine Gael’s mismanagement, with the full support of Fianna Fáil.

“The inability of the government to address the crisis in children’s and youth mental health services show they are not fit to run the health service.”