Protest rally calls for im­proved chil­dren’s men­tal health services

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS - By SARA GA­HAN

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.

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