CORK City Council is to write to the Government calling for the age limit of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) to be extended and for more funding to be allocated.
It follows a motion tabled by Sinn Féin councillor, Mick Nugent, at a city council meeting this month.
Mr Nugent’s motion proposed that, following the interim report on Camhs by the Mental Health Commission, the council would call on the Government “to ensure mental health services for children and young people are properly resourced, fully staffed and provide support when and where they are needed noting early intervention is key”.
The North West ward councillor also proposed that Camhs services should be extended to provide for people up to the age of 25.
The motion also included a number of other requests, including calls for “multi-annual funding for Camhs to be able to operate and forward plan”.
Last month’s interim report on Camhs by the Mental Health Commission outlined a series of concerns on service provision.
According to the report, several children and young people with open cases had effectively been “lost” in the system, meaning they did not have an appointment, in some cases for up to two years.
HSE chief operations officer Damien McCallion appeared before an Oireachtas sub-committee earlier this month, conceding that some children are waiting too long to access services.
Addressing the Oireachtas sub-committee on mental health, Mr McCallion said:
“I acknowledge that there are service deficits, both in terms of access, capacity, and consistency in the quality of services we provide.
“On behalf of the HSE, I wish to apologise to any child or young person who has not received the standard of care they should expect.”
Camhs services are designed for children and adolescents presenting with moderate to severe mental health disorders.
There are a total of eight sector based community mental health teams in Cork and two sector based teams in Kerry.
In Cork, the community based teams are supported by the Eist Linn inpatient unit.
Most young people who attend an inpatient Camhs unit will be aged between 12 and 18 years and will be experiencing symptoms such as severe low mood, high levels of anxiety, thought disorders, or significant eating problems.