New information released to Fianna Fáil reveals that 854 people in the HSE Area CHO 7 were waiting for a primary care psychology appointment at the end of August. The HSE figures show that of the 854 people living West of the City on the waiting list, 547 of these were children and young people. Deputy John Curran said, “These figures are very worrying and should act as a wake-up call for Ministers Harris, Daly and indeed all of their Cabinet colleagues. These lengthy waits are not only completely unacceptable from a medical point of view; they are causing immense stress and anxiety to the children and families trapped on the list.
“This data is yet another illustration of the persistent crisis in the provision of mental health services for children. 72 of the children in HSE Area CHO 7 are waiting for over a year for treatment and 135 of them over 6 months. “While it is not uncommon in today’s health services for more than a quarter of those on a waiting list to be on it for more than a year, this does not make it right. Early intervention is critical when dealing with susceptible children and teenagers. The government and the HSE have an obligation to do better by these children. “It is critical that sustained efforts are made to address these waiting lists. Such deficits in mental health services for children cannot be allowed to continue.”