Irish Medical Organisation

IMO President calls on the Government to address its commitment to improving mental health services for children in Ireland

Tomorrow June 1st marks International Children’s Day and IMO President Dr Matt Sadlier is calling on the Government to address its commitment to improving mental health services for children in Ireland.

“A National Strategy for the provision of child and adolescent mental health services must be put in place and it is essential that adequate resources are put in place.”

Dr Sadlier said “A recent report from the HSE indicated that some children waited for up to three months for admission and there was a waiting list of over a year for children to be seen by a Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team member. This report highlights that there is an urgent requirement for specialised mental health therapy services”

In its Position Paper on Child Health October 2012 the IMO recommends:

• Adequately resource Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in line with the recommendations of A Vision for Change including the provision of 100 in-patient units
• Investment in prevention and early intervention approach to child protection in line with international evidence-based best practice which suggests that prevention and early intervention can lead to better outcomes
• Pilot the development of community based 24 hour crisis mental health provision throughout Ireland

“Good outcomes are most likely if children and young people have timely access to advice, assessment and evidence. It is widely acknowledged that effective and appropriate early intervention with children and adolescents can not only be highly effective but can also prevent future mental health difficulties occurring. Investing in the health of our children is vital. The provision of an adequately resourced mental health service will ensure that children and adolescents experiencing mental health difficulties are given the opportunity to recover and lead a mentally healthy life". said Dr Sadlier.

- Ends

IMO Position Paper on Child Health, October 2012

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