Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick and his colleagues in the Independent Regional Group of TDs submitted a request to the Ceann Comhairle to suspend Dáil Éireann yesterday (Tuesday 24th January). Considering the publication of an interim report by the Mental Health Commission into CAMHS services, Fitzpatrick asked that the Minister for Health address Dáil Éireann, outlining the immediate steps which are to be taken to protect children and ensure proper access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
Deputy Fitzpatrick and the Regional Group also call for immediate clinical review of all open cases in all CAMHS teams while stating that the Interim Report highlighted some very serious safety concerns.
“I have constantly raised the issues of CAMHS, waiting lists and lack of services on the floor on the Dáil in relation to County Louth and East Meath. I have questioned why there are no Psychiatrist’s on the HSE Team and when one would be appointed. I raised this issue because I am aware of at least 15 families who have adolescent children with Autism/Moderate Learning Disability who urgently require a Psychiatric review. In addition to no Psychiatrists being available, CAMH’s will not see teenagers who have a dual diagnosis and these adolescent children cannot be seen by the Mental Health Team until they are 18 yrs. old.”, says Deputy Fitzpatrick on the crisis situation in Louth and Meath.
“The report describes a dysfunctional system, a lack of out-of-hours support, long waiting lists, staffing issues and inability to provide therapeutic interventions. Children are not receiving follow-up care and are getting lost in the system.
“In light of these findings, the Regional Group alongside Deputy Fitzpatrick have submitted a formal request to the Ceann Comhairle asking him to suspend the Dáil so this urgent matter can be discussed tomorrow, Tuesday.
“Our mental health service is in crisis and affecting those who are most vulnerable, our children.
“In 2020, this Government supported the Regional Group Members Mental Health Motion. It called on the Government to protect not only the population’s physical health, but its mental health. Since then little has been done to address the issues highlighted with children mental health services,” stated Deputy Fitzpatrick.