Children’s Ombudsman: Young people have died by suicide because of Government’s ‘inaction’ on mental health

Dr Niall Muldoon is extremely critical of the state's failure to put in place an initiative that was first suggested more than five years ago.

Children’s Ombudsman: Young people have died by suicide because of Government’s ‘inaction’ on mental health

The Children’s Ombudsman claims young people have died by suicide because of the Government’s "inaction" on mental health.

He is extremely critical of the State's failure to put in place an initiative that was first suggested more than five years ago.

Dr Niall Muldoon has written a detailed letter to Health Minister Simon Harris about the delay in implementing the Pathfinder Project for Youth Mental Health.

It has been released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Children’s Ombudsman said the concept was first mooted in 2014 and would involve three government departments working as a single unit.

Dr Muldoon claims the implications of not implementing it have been ‘catastrophic’ for the most vulnerable and at-risk children.

He claims that in that time, many thousands of children have languished on waiting lists for years and been turned away from adolescent units.

Dr Muldoon said they have had to suffer the pain and anguish of being detained in adult units.

He said he is in no doubt that we have ultimately lost children and young people to suicide because of the Government’s inaction around this project.

"By not making that happen, we continue with closed doors for children and families looking for help," said Dr Muldoon.

"We are in a situation where the Government are coming near the end of time.

"This is one of their priorities for government. But yet there is no action to be seen in bringing this unit to fruition."

In response, Minister Harris told Dr Muldoon that the Pathfinder initiative remains a priority and that officials are currently looking into the legalities involved in setting it up.

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