Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon has welcomed the appointment of three new psychologists to the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service in the North West, but he’s warning that there are still serious staff shortages, which need to be addressed.
The HSE has confirmed that two psychologists have taken up posts with the service in recent weeks, with a third due to start later this month.
Deputy Scanlon explained, “I have been highlighting the severe staff shortages in the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service in this region for months and while there has been some movement on the issue, I want guarantees from the Health Minister and the Minister of State for Mental Health that staff levels will be increased to meet the recommendations set out in A Vision for Change.
“The CAMHS service is so important for children, young adults and their families who are dealing with mental health issues. The staff in the service are excellent and have been providing support, advice and care to hundreds of families across the region, however they are under extreme pressure because staffing levels are not where they need to be.
“I have organised a meeting with the Our Voice, Their Future campaign group and Minister Daly this week in the Dáil so that he can hear first-hand the experience of families in Sligo who use the service, particularly their concerns around waiting times.
“These new appointments are particularly welcome but I am seeking assurances from Ministers Harris and Daly that they are full-time, permanent posts. A Vision for Change was published over a decade ago but many of the recommendations are still outstanding. We need a minimum of 40 additional staff recruited to meet the targets outlined in that document – and I will be continuing to pursue this issue with Ministers Harris and Daly”.