Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Mental Health Services
The overall picture for mental health and disability assessment is very poor with 37,000 waiting for a first assessment and 78% overdue. The Taoiseach tried to distract from that earlier by pointing to the Cork and Kerry CHO as a scapegoat, stating that he did not believe it was under-resourced. This debate is about the services being under-resourced and the issues relating to staffing. The Minister of State can go back to check the record if he wishes. The service is under-resourced for assessment and CAMHS. Some 60 or so psychiatrist posts are currently vacant and 13 or so of those are in the Cork and Kerry region. There are 3,720 applications for assessment, or 33% of the overall number, in the Cork and Kerry area. Some 1,192 have been waiting in the system for more than three months. With regard to CAMHS services in community health organisation, CHO, 4, the Cork and Kerry region has half the recommended numbers of consultant psychiatrists. Those statistics point to the reality and are important. This issue means that young people's potential is restricted because their education is denied to them or their lives and the quality of their lives are being put at risk due to a lack of mental health supports.