Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne has demanded answers from the Government regarding the growing waiting list for children looking to access psychology services.

There are currently 343 children awaiting primary care psychology services in the Wexford area. 50 children are waiting between 18 – 24 months while a further 4 are waiting up to 3 years to access services.

Deputy Browne, who is Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Mental Health, says the delays in accessing services is having a detrimental impact on the lives of children.

Deputy Browne said, “There has been a significant increase in the number of children waiting to access psychology services. I raised this issue with Minister for Health Simon Harris and was shocked to learn that 343 children are currently stuck on a waiting list. This simply isn’t good enough when you consider that these children are at the formative stage of their lives. Any delay in securing the necessary intervention will have a lasting impact.

“The HSE has pointed out that the increasing population in Wexford has put child psychology services under pressure. This points to a systemic lack of planning on behalf of the Government in configuring our mental health services. We have known for many years that the population in Wexford is increasing. The Government failed to put in place the necessary investment to keep up with the demand for psychology services.

“I intend on continuing to raise this issue with Minister Harris until it is satisfactorily resolved. We can’t have a situation where children are left waiting up to 3 years before accessing the psychology services that they need. This situation is extremely stressful for these children and their families. The Government needs to set out what it will do to tackle the waiting list for psychology services,” concluded Deputy Browne.