Concern over waiting lists for children's mental health services

Some 5,954 children are waiting for a primary care psychology appointment

Concern over waiting lists for children's mental health services

Image: © UNICEF/UNI195858/Giuseppe Imperato

Over 1,700 children have been on a waiting list for over a year for a primary care psychology appointment.

Concern is being expressed over children's mental health services, with almost 6,000 children on the list at the end of June.

Some 7,485 are waiting for a primary care psychology appointment - 5,954 of these are children, of which 1,784 are waiting over over a year.

Fianna Fáil mental health spokesperson is James Browne.

He says we have encouraged our young people to come forward for help, and it is unacceptable that so many are now left waiting for so long.

"The stigma around mental health services is decreasing, and we are increasingly encouraging people to reach out to say it's OK not to be OK.

"But when children and teenagers are reaching out to their parents or to support networks, and they are seeking the support to help them recover and assess the situation they're in, they're being put on to extremely long waiting lists.

"It's totally unacceptable".

"We know that early intervention is critical in mental health services, as early intervention can dramatically increase the chances of recovery - while also preventing more serious mental health issues developing.

"We've seen earlier in the week, figures released that show us our more acute mental health service for children and adolescents is also dramatically increasing.

"So I think what these figures demonstrate overall is that mental health services are failing our young people".