Sinn Féin’s Maurice Quinlivan TD today called for more resources to be provided for mental health services and commended local voluntary organisations for the services they provide in Limerick.
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Deputy Quinlivan said;
“I welcome the opportunity to speak on this mental health bill, as it gives us an opportunity to highlight the totally inadequate funding for mental health and the continued reluctance of this government to address the problems in this area.
“Currently there are 2,603 children and adolescents waiting for an appointment with a child and adolescent Mental Health Team, who treat vulnerable children in Ireland with moderate to severe mental health problems.
“This is due in large part to a failure to recruit staff needed to fully operate a CAMHS team. At present and for quite some time now, around half of positions in CAMHS teams across the country are vacant.
“Figures released to Sinn Féin also show that the child and adolescent mental health team in the Limerick region is operating with only 58.7% of the recommended staff set out in the Vision for Change strategy.
““A Vision for Change” recommends that youth mental health services be fully staffed at 1,047 people, yet as of December 2017 CAMHS teams had just 587 doctors and nurses.
“Data compiled earlier this year by the National Suicide Research Foundation for the period 2014 to 2016, reveals that the average rate of suicide in Limerick City was 23.7 per 100,000.
“It is both shocking and upsetting that the suicide rate for Limerick City is more than twice the national average which stands at 10.5.
“This clearly demonstrates that a properly resourced 24/7 crisis intervention service is essential for our region.
“The sad reality is that without adequate resources and the provision of proper services for those in acute mental distress, the figures for death by suicide and self-harm will only continue to increase.
“I want to commend Jigsaw in Limerick City, who I met with recently, and who do great work in offering mental health support to young people and their families.
“Jigsaw aims to ensure that no young person feels alone, isolated and disconnected from others around them. They provide vital supports to young people with their mental health by working closely with communities across Ireland.
“Limerick Suicide Watch also provides an invaluable service in Limerick City, and unfortunately their services are needed very often. The huge efforts of these volunteers should not go overlooked.” Deputy Quinlivan concluded.
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