Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, has called for an immediate report to be commissioned on why 48 beds set aside for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMH) are not fully in use despite 83 children being admitted to adult mental health services last year.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl raised this issue in the Dáil yesterday and called for clarification from the Government and the HSE as to why the CAMH beds are not in full use despite a demand for it.
He commented: “The Mental Health Commission Report, which was published yesterday, confirmed that 83 children were admitted to adult mental health facilities last year. At the very least, this is breach of their basic human rights, at worst it is negligent.
“Families with children suffering from mental health conditions have to deal with a considerable amount of stress and worry but to have their children admitted to adult psychiatric services is cruel.
“What puzzles me is that there is a provision for 48 beds for children experiencing mental health problems but these are not being filled because the CAMH service does not operate an emergency response service, particularly at weekends.
“While I accept that progress has been made by the Government and various agencies in terms of investment, people need to see tangible results. Families want to see their children in centres where they can be cared for in the right environment that guarantees their safety.
“We recently passed the children’s referendum where we the constitution was changed to put children centre stage. We cannot just pay lip service to this, our children, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in, deserve to be treated humanely and with the utmost sympathy and care.
“We need to know the reason why 83 children have been placed in adult psychiatric services and steps must be taken to prevent this happening in the future.”