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400 children waiting over one year for mental help

More than 400 children and adolescents have been waiting for over a year to access vital mental health services, according to figures compiled by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

There are currently 2,625 on a waiting list for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), 410 of whom have been waiting for more than 12 months.

The CAMHS is comprised of 62 community mental health teams covering all geographical areas of the State. The waiting lists of 23 of these teams have individuals waiting for more than a year.

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These include two teams in the HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster area, one in Dublin North-East, six teams in the South and three in the West. Collectively, the 12 teams in these areas account for 318 of the 410 individuals who have been waiting in excess of 12 months.

The information was provided by the HSE in response to a parliamentary question this week.

In the reply to Galway West TD Brian Walsh, the head of operations and service improvement in the Mental Health Division of the HSE, Jim Ryan, said the total number of waiting lists represented a 7pc decrease on the same period last year.

"A service improvement plan for the CAMH service has been established to address the access and use of the CAMHS inpatient and community services," said Mr Ryan.

hnews@herald.ie


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