Sinn Fein TD for Kilkenny Carlow
Sinn Féin spokesperson for children and TD for Carlow Kilkenny, Kathleen Funchion, has called for better supports for young people and children trying to access CAMHS in Carlow and Kilkenny.
Deputy Funchion was speaking on the astronomical rise in referral refusals across the region, with a staggering 54% of all referrals to CAMHs being refused in the HSE area covering South Tipperary, Carlow/Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford.
Teachta Funchion said:
“We have now had several damming reports by the Mental Health Commission into CAMHS. The most recent report the Mental Health Commission made 49 recommendations to improve CAMHS services for patients, parents, and staff.
“Whilst the Mental Health Commission can make recommendations on governance and clinical reforms in CAMHS they do not have the statutory authority to ensure that these recommendations will be implemented.
“Sinn Féin are calling for this to change and have published legislation that will do just that. I am calling on the Government to support this legislation as empowering the Mental Health Commission with the powers to improve CAMHS is the right thing to do.
“Speaking on KCLR this morning Deputy Funchion called for immediate changes in the way referrals were made, for more integrated cooperation with educational settings. Echoing the report’s recommendations for a centralised triage system of referrals for GPs and other professionals.
“One of the most enduring issues we see locally is recruitment and retention of staff and the impact this has on services, from CAMHS to CNDT. We need to throw everything at alleviating staffing issues.
“Young people with suicidal ideation in CHO5, which covers Carlow Kilkenny, were waiting more than 65 days from the point of referral until they received their assessment. 65 days is in no way an urgent response to what is an urgent need.
“Our mental health system is truly broken if we cannot give interventions for our young people contemplating suicide, self-harm and eating disorders. This must change.
“The demand for help is high but the response from government is found wanting. This year saw no additional funding for the National Clinical Programmes in mental health, including the National Clinical Programme for Self Harm and Suicide-related ideation. What we are seeing in CAMHS is the real life consequence of not funding these programmes.
“I am calling on the government to fund the National Clinical Programmes for mental health and to prioritise reducing wait times for suicide related assessments in CAMHS. These unacceptable waiting times cannot be allowed to continue.”