Child mental health services have just over half of recommended staffing levels 3 years ago

Child mental health services have just over half of recommended staffing levels

Youth mental health services in Ireland are under serious pressure due to staffing shortages, new figures show.

Services for teens and children are operating with a little more than half of the necessary staff.

The staffing level in the Irish Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is at just 56.1 per cent of the number of mental health professionals recommended by an expert group in 2006, reports the Sun.

A Vision for Change, a report by the group that was commissioned by the state, found that at least 1,047 doctors and nurses would be needed to run underage services effectively.

However, just 587 staff members work in this area, falling far short of what was called for in the report.

Child mental health services have just over half of recommended staffing levels

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Meanwhile, thousands of children with mental health issues are waiting to be seen by the appropriate community-based professionals.

It was revealed this week that almost 7,000 children under the age of 17 were on a waiting list to see a HSE psychologist in July of last year.

A third of those children had been waiting for over a year, figures released by the Children's Right Alliance (CRA) show.

The organisation's annual scorecard awarded the government a 'D' in the area of mental health, up from a 'D-' last year.

A 'D' represents "a barely acceptable performance (by the State), with little or no positive impact on children," according to the CRA.