Protest rally calls for improved children’s mental health services
UP TO 40 people attended a solidarity rally at the Monument on Saturday, calling on Minister Michael D’Arcy to help in the development of Wexford’s Child and Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
The CAMHS service in Wexford collapsed during the summer with the sudden resignation of Dr Kieran Moore and two others in protest at the lack of staff to deal with the increasing number of children in need of help.
The rally was organised by Wexford Mental Health Warriors, Still Waiting CAMHS Now Campaign and local People Before Profit representative Cinnamon Blackmore.
Ms Blackmore said concerned parents and families stood in unity for the 7,765 people left waiting on chairs and trolleys in September and for the 997,258 people who are currently on HSE waiting lists with at least 55,000 of those being children.
Following the march, a letter was signed by all who attended and has been posted to Minister D’Arcy as the Government representative for Gorey and county Wexford. They are looking for Minister D’Arcy to open an immediate inquiry to be concluded at a short and specified time.
It included items such as clarity on the recent staffing concerns; calls for a psychiatric clinician on 24 hour call in Wexford General Hospital for those likely to self-harm; introduction of immediate measures to recruit suitable staff to clear the three year backlog; and funding for psychiatric beds for children and young adults.
Ms Blackmore said the sudden loss of CAMHS last key staff showed the naked truth of the Governments attitude towards mental health in the South East, with services being under- funded and understaffed for years. Wexford families, newly referred, are now in limbo with a minimum of 2.5 years to wait while their children are in crisis. The verified reported waiting time from receipt of letter of acknowledgement from CAMHS to initial assessment is now 34 months, and this does not include the additional time from doctors referral to the receipt letter of acknowledgement from CAMHS.
The Still Waiting ‘CAMHS’ Now Campaign group are pictured at their protest march in Gorey on Saturday. Cinnamon Blackmore is pictured speaking at the ‘Still Waiting’ CAMHS protest in Gorey.