Teachta Ward was speaking after the report, Pieces of Us, was sent to the United Nations (UN) from the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) ahead of January’s meeting between government and the UN. The Dublin Mid-West TD said “The reports sent to the UN from the OCO show the continuous failure by government towards children in this state. “Pieces of Us is a report in which over 5,500 children from Ireland took part and told of their lived experiences and the major experiences affecting them. “The issue of mental health waiting lists and lack of appropriate services were cited by hundreds of children throughout the report.
“Children describing waiting a year to see a mental health professional as “a long tiring fight” that “puts pressure on the families and children already suffering” is the stark reality of where we find ourselves due to lack of funding and staffing. “A response from a parliamentary question that I received from the Department of Health has more that almost 4,000 children are waiting over a year for an appointment for primary care psychology. “Children also expressed that the services that are available to them through mental health charities and through CAMHS are often “difficult to navigate”
“It is clear to see that government are failing children and this is now exposed on the international stage. “A second report submitted by the Ombudsman for Children, Niall Muldoon, included recommendations for government in future policies for children including adequately funding CAMHS and preventing children being admitted to adult facilities. “In my time as Sinn Féin Mental Health Spokesperson I have highlighted the need to address the above issues by increasing our mental health spending to international recommendations and to strengthen government oversight by the reinstatement of a national director for mental health.
“These are commitments that Sinn Féin will deliver in government and have included in our alternative health budget. “Government must react now to these reports as anything other than action is not acceptable.