Fianna Fáil General Election Candidate in Dublin Central, Mary Fitzpatrick has said the fact that the number of Dublin children left waiting for vital CAMHS continues to rise is indicative of the Government’s ongoing failure to adopt a strategy comprehensive enough to get the grips with demand.

The latest figures from March reveal a further increase in the number of children on the CAMHS waiting list in the Capital. This number rose from 156 at the end of 2017 to 164 in March.

The local representative said, “This month marks Mental Health Awareness month to shine a light on how to take care of our mental health. Day in day out we’re telling our young people that there is help and support on hand yet that vital work predominately falls to the charity sector to pick up the Government slack.

“Some might believe that this slight increase shouldn’t warrant much anger but any rise in number is not only frustrating but gravely concerning.

“The Government continues to claim that it is improving the capacity of CAMHS nationwide. The reality in the Capital is that there are not enough resources to keep at pace with the current demand on services.

“The 164 children in Dublin that are stuck on the waiting list are waiting for an initial appointment. It could be many more months before they actually receive the intervention or treatment that they need once to feel better of see improvements in their mental health.

“This is understandably a major concern for parents who are already worried about their child’s health and the prospect of any adverse impact as a result of a delay in access to care only adds to the stress.

“Much medical evidence shows us that the earlier an intervention occurs the better the outcome for the child yet we have no national strategy to reflect this.

She concluded, “It’s deeply frustrating that this Government continue to lead us to believe that they recognise children’s mental health needs yet repeatedly fail to tackle the issues in recruitment which are at the centre of these waiting times.”