New information released to Fianna Fáil’s Mental Health Spokesperson reveals that more than 6,300 children were waiting for a primary care psychology appointment at the end of August.  The HSE figures show that over the 6,340 on the list, 1,607 children and young people waiting have been for more than a year.

Deputy James Browne 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.

“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.”