Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Cllr. Cathal Crowe says he was horrified to learn that there is no Child and Adolescent Mental Health Intellectual Disability team across Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary.

The revelation came to light through Parliamentary Questions to Fianna Fáil, which also highlighted significant staffing issues across the CAMHS service.

Cllr Crowe said, “Despite warnings from the Mental Health Commission and mental health advocacy groups, staffing levels within our mental health services are nowhere near where they should be. Here in CHO3, which covers Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary, we have less than two third of the necessary staff as recommended by A Vision for Change in place.

“What is actually more worrying is the fact that there is no CAMHS intellectual disability team in the region. Early intervention for children with mental health issues is critical. But for children with an intellectual disability such as autism or Down Syndrome, who also have mental health issues, a lack of early intervention is nothing short of cruel.

“Children and adolescents with an intellectual disability are four times more likely to have diagnosable mental health problems compared to others their age but because of their intellectual disability they may find it more difficult to deal with those mental health problems. In Clare, these children are being left behind and it is a deeply distressing situation for them and their families.

“Fine Gael is failing children with mental health issues. What is needed is a clear implementation strategy to bring CAMHS services up to scratch. Unless this is undertaken with a greater sense of urgency, the recommendations contained in A Vision for Change will never be fully implemented”, concluded Cllr. Crowe.