Almost 2,700 children are now waiting to be seen by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, with a 10% increase in just one month in the number of young people waiting for more than a year.
Figures released to Fianna Fáil’s James Browne show that, as of last March, there were 2,691 children waiting to be seen by CAMHS, which was up from 2,579 in February. 386 people were waiting for more than a year, up 10% on the previous month.
The figures for March also showed that 128 people have been waiting for more than 18 months for an appointment, a slight fall compared with February.
The number of children on waiting lists increased in five of the nine HSE Community Health Organisation areas. In CHO1, covering Donegal to Monaghan, the numbers on the waiting list jumped from 195, in February, to 239, in March.
CHO4, covering Kerry and Cork, again had the highest number of children on the waiting list: 755 in March, a slight increase on the February figure.
Mr Browne, his party’s spokesperson on mental health, said: “The situation with the CAMHS waiting list is now reaching crisis point.
“It’s alarming that there has been a 10% increase in the number of children waiting over 12 months for an appointment."
“The overall waiting list has increased by 4% in the same period of time.”
Mr Browne said those waiting for a CAMHS appointment could then face another wait of “many more months, before they actually get the intervention they need”.
“The central issue is recruitment,” he said. “Figures I received last year showed that a staff complement of 1,237 is required for a full CAMHS service.