Over 2,600 Irish children on waiting list for first mental health assessment 3 years ago

Over 2,600 Irish children on waiting list for first mental health assessment

Over 2,600 Irish children are currently on a waiting list for their first mental health assessment.

More and more young people across the country and now waiting to see a mental health professional as part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

The Sun reports that 319 more children were waiting to access the programme in July of this year compared to December 2017.

327 out of the 2,621 children have been waiting more than a year.

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The figures were released by the HSE following a parliamentary question by Sinn Fein's Louise O’Reilly.

They showed that the number of children waiting to assess CAMHS rose to a high of 2,738 in June of this year before dropping slightly to 2,621 in July.

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The number was at 2,419 in December of last year and at 2,710 in March of 2018.

O'Reilly said that the figures show how understaffed the service is.

"We’ve heard from staff in the services of how they are overworked and incapable of meeting the demands," she said.

“But these figures really underline the cost this crisis is having on so many young lives.”

The HSE said that while the majority of children were offered an appointment within 12 weeks, the availability of specialists and the vacancies existing in the sector can affect waiting periods.