Cork and Kerry have most children on waiting lists for mental heatlh service

Cork and Kerry have most children on waiting lists for mental heatlh service

More than 200 children have been waiting at least a year for an appointment with the mental health service.

Cork and Kerry have the longest waiting lists, with a total of 705 children waiting to be seen.

According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, there are 2,224 children on the waiting list for the HSE's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

More than one-quarter - 660 - have been waiting at least six months for an appointment.

Some 209 have been waiting for at least a year, including 162 children in Cork and Kerry.

Other areas with long waiting lists include Wicklow, Dublin Southeast and the Midlands.

Dr Madeleine Ní Dhalaigh is a member of the Irish Medical Organisation's GP committee.

"It's a terrible thing for them to be waiting that long because these children are anxious, they're depressed, it's affecting their ability to access education, to go to school.

"Some of those young people find it difficult to face into a big school... and leave the family home.

"And then the parents are left with the worry of how to help the child while they're waiting for specialist care".

At present, there are nearly 740 staff working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in 71 teams across Ireland - including psychiatrists and psychologists.

There remain 14 vacant posts, while 31 consultant psychiatrists posts are filled on a temporary basis.

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