Ninety-four children on waiting list for psychiatric help for over a year

There are 94 children waiting more than one year for psychiatric help, the HSE's Regional Health Forum, West has heard.
Ninety-four children on waiting list for psychiatric help for over a year

There are 94 children waiting more than one year for psychiatric help, the HSE's Regional Health Forum, West has heard.

The children waiting over a year are from Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary, the Irish Examiner reports. There are 376 in total on waiting lists.

The forum also heard there are 8,133 adults waiting across hospitals in the University Limerick Hospital Group.

The child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) crisis in the region mirrors a national crisis, as children urgently in need of mental health services are forced to wait.

Data provided by Maria Bridgeman, HSE chief officer for the region, shows Limerick East has the biggest challenges with 122 waiting, including 24 for over one year.

In Clare west and Limerick west, there are 14 children waiting two years or more.

Ms Bridgeman said they applied for “additional targeted resources” in December through a HSE waiting list initiative but have not been given a decision yet.

Commenting on the figures, which he requested, Independent Tipperary councillor Seamus Morris said: “Camhs is a service that has to be given to children at the time when it is requested. Some of them are waiting up to two years, no modern society should have to accept that.”

Data presented by the UL Hospital Group through a written statement from CEO Colette Cowan described “significant disruption” to elective treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are 3,274 adults on day care lists, including 799 for ophthalmology and 299 for gynaecology.

“The pandemic has contributed to growing waiting lists for surgical patients as scheduled care was reduced as part of the emergency response. While challenges remain around infection control and in relation to recruitment, plans are now being put in place to reduce waiting lists,” the statement read.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can freephone the Samaritans 24 hours a day for confidential support at 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

Alternatively, the contact information for a range of mental health supports is available at mentalhealthireland.ie/get-support.

In the case of an emergency, or if you or someone you know is at risk of suicide or self-harm, dial 999/112.

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