Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that 450 children in Cork were on waiting lists for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the Cork region in October.
Of these, 80 have been waiting for more than 12 months, 35 have been waiting for more than two years and 10 had been on the waiting list for more than three years.
The HSE explained that these figures actually represent a decrease since January this year when around 660 were on the waiting list and more than 110 had been waiting more than a year.
Speaking to The Echo, Lord Mayor of Cork City and Cork GP, Dr John Sheehan said the CAMHS waiting lists are too long but that it is good to see progress.
He said the service needs to be resourced and staffed properly to ensure the most vulnerable young people in society are not forced to turn to A&E for mental health support.
Fellow Cork GP, Dr Nick Flynn said: “It’s completely inappropriate that a vulnerable child might end up in a busy, overcrowded emergency department because there’s nowhere else to go — it’s shocking.”