Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health and Special Needs Colm Keaveney TD has said the government is continuing to neglect mental health services for children. Deputy Keaveney made the comments following the publication of the Children’s Rights Alliance ‘Report Card 2015’. The report details a litany of failures by the government regarding the provision of mental health services.
Deputy Keaveney commented, “The latest report card from the Children’s Rights Alliance clearly demonstrates that the government is continuing to neglect mental health services for children. In 2014 the area of mental health received an ‘E’ grade, the same sub-standard grade that has been achieved yet again. The government is simply failing to bring about the much needed improvements for mental health services.
“In particular the report outlines that there are only 62 Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service teams in operation. This is despite the fact that 127 teams were promised by the government. The shameful practice of admitting children to adult mental health units is also continuing, with the report outlining that 32% of children and adolescent admissions were to such units.
“The ongoing policy of admitting children to adult wards constitutes a human rights violation of the children involved. Despite this Minister Kathleen Lynch has yet to outline a plan to stop this practice from continuing. She has also failed publish the Review of the Mental Health Act 2001 despite making a commitment to release the document two years ago.
“It is shocking that mental health services for children remain grossly inadequate and underfunded, especially when you consider that Minister Lynch oversaw an under spend of €46 million in 2012 for such services. It clearly shows that the government is continuing to neglect mental health services for children.”