Deputy Browne was speaking on the topic of Youth Mental Health, which took place against the
backdrop of a review of the care of more than 1,300 children who attended the HSE-run South Kerry
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
Teachta Browne said:
“This week I received an email from a 16 year-old from Co Tipperary about what she termed as ‘the
mental health crisis in Ireland’.
“Owing to her experiences of losing friends and the nature of her encounters with mental health
services, she felt it was important to make an appeal to her political representatives to do all they
can to make a change for the better.
“I relayed these concerns in the Dáil today.
“With a delayed Jigsaw service experiencing 7 week waiting times at the start of the last quarter of
last year, it is beyond time that the government gets a grip on the seriousness with which adequate
and accessible services for young people are made available.
“What kind of a country are we living in when a 16-year-old who should be enjoying her youth,
instead has to write to me to make this case for her and for the many other young people who feel
abandoned by the system?
“Tipperary has seen the closure of St Michael’s inpatient unit. People in urgent need have to
present at A&E.
“Resource Centres who facilitate counselling services are living hand to mouth because of a lack of
“And the services that people, both young and old can get, are often determined by their postcode
rather than need. This is apparent when you look at the difference between North and South
Tipperary in terms of the number of children waiting a year or more for Child and Adolescent Mental
Health Services and Child Primary Care Psychology services.
“This game of chance that is being playing with the mental health of our children is the result of a
chaotic strategy on the part of the government which cut additional funding by 50% recently.
“Young people must be listened to. They must be enabled to enjoy their younger years instead of
having to worry about mental health service provision.”