Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke has criticised the Government for continuing to under-resource health services in Maynooth.
Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after receiving confirmation from the HSE that Maynooth Primary Care area remains an area of unmet need for child psychology services. This is despite previous commitments made by the Government to ensure all areas would be allocated adequate primary care child psychology services.
Deputy O’Rourke said, “I have been raising serious concerns regarding the availability of child psychology services in Kildare for a number of years now. I am dealing with a number of cases where parents are unable to secure appointments for their children to see a psychologist. The problem is particularly acute in Maynooth as there simply aren’t enough resources in place to meet demand.
“I have raised this matter directly with Ministers’ Jim Daly and Catherine Murphy. Our mental health services are at crisis point yet the Government seems incapable of recognising this. We simply haven’t seen the level of investment necessary to ensure all children are given adequate support services promptly when they suffer a mental health crisis. This isn’t good enough in this day and age.
“I am alarmed at the response I have received from the HSE on this issue. The Primary Care team have informed me that Maynooth remains an area of unmet need for psychology services. There doesn’t seem to be any serious plan in place to address this problem. The Government simply haven’t provided the leadership necessary to bring about the reform needed to make our mental health services fit for purpose.
“All the available evidence highlights that early intervention is key for helping children who are experiencing mental health issues. However this intervention simply isn’t available for children in many parts of Ireland, including Maynooth. This has a knock on impact on children as they progress in life.
“The Government needs to recognise the enormous strain that our mental health services are under. No child should have to suffer just because they happen to live in an area which is under resourced when it comes to psychology services,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.