New figures released to Fianna Fáil Mental Health Spokesperson, James Browne, shows the number of persons waiting for a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) appointment stood at 2,738 at the end of March 2019.

Deputy Browne explained, “In February there were 2,583 waiting for an appointment so this increase represents a 6 per cent jump in just one month.

“Even more worrying is the fact that the numbers waiting over a year have jumped to 336, up from 296 in February – a leap of 13.5 pc. That’s 336 children and adolescents along with their families enduring an agonizing twelve month wait, for services needed in the here and now.

“The worst impacted service is in CHO 4 – Cork and Kerry – which accounts for 274 of the young people waiting twelve months plus. What is particularly galling is the fact that this comes as no surprise. CHO 4 has had the worst waiting lists in the country for quite some time now and yet there appears to be very little appetite to rectify this.

The CAMHS service has scarcely over half the staff needed and until such a time as the service is properly resourced and staffed, we will continue to see these lists grow.

Unfortunately, CAMHS is not the only mental health service suffering due to problems with recruitment – waiting lists and bed shortages are frequent throughout the service. It’s a sad indictment on this Government that they cannot provide for some of its most vulnerable people”, he concluded.