Cookies on The Southern Star website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the The Southern Star website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does The Southern Star use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We dont sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • News

Children with mental health issues being sent to A&E

Wednesday, 12th September, 2018 1:01pm
Children with mental health issues being sent to A&E


CONCERNED parents and teachers are calling for immediate action to address the waiting lists for mental health services for young people in West Cork.

Almost 200 children are on the waiting list for assessment by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Camhs) in Cork city and county – a figure which is set to rise, as there will be no new referrals to the system in Cork, due to the resignation of a senior consultant psychiatrist. 

The closure of the list means GPs are being asked to send children and young people in distress directly to often overcrowded emergency departments. 

Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony (FF) has said that the health of children and young people in Cork South West is being put at risk by failing to appoint a psychiatrist to West Cork Camhs.

‘We have known for some time now that the HSE has a long track record in failing to fill essential vacancies across Camhs, but it is especially concerning to learn that it is starting to lose existing staff,’ Deputy Murphy O’Mahony told The Southern Star

‘As a consequence, young people and their families living in towns such as Bandon, Bantry, Clonakilty and Skibbereen, are now forced to present to A&E during a mental health crisis.

‘I fear for the children who desperately need specialised care and support in an appropriate environment. This is totally unacceptable in circumstances where it is generally recognised that early intervention is key to rehabilitation.’

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said Health Minister Simon Harris continues to claim to be prioritising mental health, but the reality on the ground in Cork South West suggests otherwise. 

‘During a time when the government are supposed to be delivering on its commitment to provide additional Camhs resources, services are further depleting. I want to know what plan is in place to fill this consultant vacancy and what, if any, alternative services are available to local children and young adults in need of mental health support.’

A spokesperson for West Cork-based Mental Health Minister Jim Daly said the HSE says its ‘key focus’ is to secure ‘appropriate consultant support’, and in the interim to ‘continue to support the rest of the team to maintain service provision as possible’. 

Minister Daly has also discussed the matter with the HSE, he added.