Children waiting years for mental health services 

HSE Mid West Chief Officer Maria Bridgeman

THERE are 283 children waiting for an appointment with the Children’s and Young Adults Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at three centres Limerick.

And one of those has been waiting almost three years, while four have been waiting up to 30 months.

The information was supplied at a recent meeting of the Regional Health Forum West on foot of a question posed by Independent Tipperary councillor, Seamus Morris, who asked for a breakdown of the numbers waiting for the service in the Mid West.

The breakdown showed that 35 children were waiting up to 15 months; ten up to 18 months, seven up to 21 months and nine up to two years.

Chief officer, Maria Bridgeman said that in accordance with Operational Guidelines, CAMHS offers assessment and treatment to children and young people with moderate to severe mental health difficulties up to their 18th birthday.

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“Most of our referrals come directly from the family GP, but referrals are also accepted from senior clinicians and practitioners in other disciplines and services in collaboration with the GP,” she explained.

“Referrals are prioritised according to acuity of the presenting difficulties which encompasses the severity of the presenting difficulties, the associated mental health risks and the risk of harm.”