Former CAMHS patient says 'the service isn't there'

Megan, who is now 20, was first put under CAMHS services when she was13
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.45 27 Jan 2022

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Former CAMHS patient says 'the...

Former CAMHS patient says 'the service isn't there'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.45 27 Jan 2022

Share this article

A former patient of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) says the services are simply not there.

Megan was under CAMHS services when she was a 13-year-old teenager.

She was speaking as a review from a CAMHS service in south Kerry found 'significant harm' was caused to 46 children between July 2016 and April 2021.


It found that the care received by a total of 240 young people was sub-standard - with examples of "unreliable diagnoses, inappropriate prescriptions and poor monitoring of treatment and potential adverse effects".

Megan - now aged 20 - told The Hard Shoulder even though she got an emergency appointment, she still had to wait three months.

"I was 13 when I first needed help from the CAMHS service - but there was a long line, and it was a two to three year waiting list.

"And at the time I was suicidal so I couldn't wait two to three years to be seen.

"Mam and Dad put up a big fight, and got local TDs and all involved, and eventually I got an emergency appointment.

"Even though it was classed as an emergency appointment, I had to wait three months to be seen.

"I suppose when I was seen, then, I was given a load of handouts and I was told I had OCD and that I would be better by the summer."

But Megan says six months passed and nothing had changed.

"I wasn't much better - they then were seeing me kind of every six months.

"And what would happen is I'd go in and they'd check my height, my weight, my blood pressure - and they would either up my medication or change my medication.

"This was constant every six months".

'If it wasn't on the notes, it didn't happen'

Megan says says she feels there was no real support in her CAMHS service.

"I was self-harming big time, and then I had a suicide attempt when I was in their service when I was 15.

"I'm blessed to still be here - so the service that they're saying is there isn't there.

"I felt like I didn't have support, I hated going.

"I kept telling Mam and Dad 'These people are meant to help me and they're not helping me'.

"Every time I went over it was a new doctor, and if it wasn't on the notes then it didn't happen".

She says it is 'frustrating and annoying' to see the same issues in the headlines.

"We rely on them people to help us, and when we get brave enough to actually ask for help the help isn't there."

And she believes she is in the same place as she was.

"I'm left with the same situation, as it is today I still don't have a proper diagnosis.

"I am still having doors shut in my face - so it doesn't get any easier the older you get either".

Former CAMHS patient says 'the service isn't there'

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Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact The Samaritans on 116-123 or email - or contact Pieta House on 1800-247-247 or text 'HELP' to 51444

Main image: File photo shows a stressed teenager. Picture by: Aleksandr Davydov / Alamy Stock Photo

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CAMHS Child And Adolescent Mental Health Services Megan South Kerry The Hard Shoulder

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