Browne welcomes Motion re Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Welcoming the motion, Teachta Browne said:
“What we have seen in South Kerry recently indicated the challenges facing young people in securing
the appropriate mental health services in a system that has not been designed around their needs.
“The lack of resources and the poor rollout of mental health supports across the board has been well
known for some time.
“We saw astonishing mixed messages coming from Minister Butler around the opening the Jigsaw
service in Thurles.
“We saw how the thousands of people who turned out on the streets of Clonmel demanding that St
Michael’s be retained, were ignored.
“And the government says it is taken back by recent events.
“Give me a break.
“It’s been made worse by a lack of urgency on the part of the government who now say that it is
difficult to find the Psychologists, OTs, SLTs and so on that the HSE South East told me last week are
being sought in my constituency.
“Well, this is what happens when for decades, understaffing and under-resourcing have made it an
unattractive prospect.
“It is a problem of the government’s own making.
“We see the State relying on the community and voluntary sector to make up for the shortfall in
counselling and therapy services, by expecting them to be able to provide their wonderful services
for either no funding or for low level, short term funding at best.
“For these reasons, our motion called on the government to tackle extreme waiting lists and clinical
oversight deficiencies in child and adolescent health services. It demands that the government put in
place a proactive strategy for the recruitment and retention of psychologists across CAMHS, and for
legislation to end the practice of placing children into adult psychiatric facilities.
“The current situation is failing thousands of children and thousands of adults who simply can’t get
the support and treatment they need.
“The motion was not opposed by the government, but that must be more than a tactic on the part
of the government to avoid opposing a motion such as this. We need to see action. To start, a
comprehensive care plan and a full suite of services must be immediately delivered for the children
affected by their attendance at the South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.”