Deputy Jackie Cahill: ‘Young people have nowhere to turn’
Young people in the county are being left behind as a result of staff shortages in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), according to Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill.
There is a total of 108 staff shortages throughout Tipperary, according to figures realed to the party.
The figures show thatl CHO5, which includes South Tipperary needs an additional 75 staff to bring it in line with the recommendations from A Vision for Change.
In CHO3, which takes in North Tipperary, there is a staff shortfall of 32.
CHO or Community Health Organisations are charged with delivering community healthcare.
A Vision for Change is a HSE strategy document which sets out the direction for mental health services in Ireland.
It describes a framework for building and fostering positive mental health across the entire community and for providing accessible, community based, specialist services for people with mental illness.
“Children are living in a difficult era of social media and outside pressures. This combined with the difficulty of added academic pressures, may generate anxieties or other mental health problems for young children or teenagers”, said Deputy Cahill, who raised the issue in the Dáil last week.
He said that the continuing growth of drug use in communities was a major cause of concern for parents, and there was no doubt that the increased use was having a direct impact on mental health issues.
Unfortunately, we have seen a number of cases where young people have taken their own lives, he said.
Deputy Cahill said that there was a need to see more acute mental health beds made available, combined with a proper out of hours mental health service with counselling services that young people can fully engage with.
“We also need a focused strategy to establish why so many young people are using drugs to mask their problems,” said that Thurles TD.
Deputy Cahill said that, unfortunately, these services were completely overstretched and understaffed.
“Young people have nowhere to turn for dedicated support without a lengthy period before receiving treatment. Addressing the deficits in mental health services and fully realising A Vision for Change must be made a priority,” he said.
Deputy Cahill sad that the Government cannot continue to spin the baseless claims that they undersood the severe, dangerous shortfalls that exist.