“The inability of the government to address the crisis in children’s and youth mental health services in Kerry show they are not fit to run the health service,” said Kerry Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris.
Deputy Ferris also called for increased and targeted investment to address the staffing crisis and ease soaring waiting lists.
CAMHS in Crisis
“Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have been in a state of crisis across the State for some time now – and Kerry is no different.
“Despite commitments to improve mental health services by this government, the situation for children and young people has got worse.
Crippling Staff Shortages
“Figures released to my colleague and Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD have shown that the staffing deficit in CAMHS teams is so severe that the services need a €40m investment to address crippling staff shortages.
37 Clinical Post Shortage
“To put this into context, there is a shortfall of 37 clinical posts in CAMHS for Cork and Kerry with posts unfilled for psychiatry and psychology, nurse specialists in mental health, social worker posts, and therapy posts.
“This means that countless children and young people in Kerry are not receiving the mental health supports they need within the necessary timeframes.
“This situation is the result of severe mismanagement of both mental health services and the health service by Fine Gael and it will take a huge effort to reverse the damage which they have done through policy decisions.
“The only way out of this situation is increased and targeted investment to recruit and retain staff and to increase capacity in Kerry – only these measures will ease soaring waiting lists for access to CAHMS service.”
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