Fine Gael Meath East TD and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Regina Doherty TD, has today (Wednesday) said that the latest HSE report on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) shows more young people are being treated in the community, while admissions to in-patient facilities have fallen considerably. However, Deputy Doherty added that the number of young people presenting with depression shows further progress is needed.
“This HSE report provides a very interesting insight into the level of mental
health problems within our youth population, and how they are being treated. The
recent focus in the media on cyber bullying and its harmful effects underlines
the need to ensure that adequate services are in place to support and treat
young people with depression and other mental health issues.
“Considerable progress has been made; there was a 10% increase in the number
of new cases seen by CAMHS between October 2011 and September 2012, and there
has been a dramatic reduction in the numbers of children being admitted to
in-patient units. In 2008, 65% of child and adolescent admissions were to adult
units; this has now fallen to 25%. It is still too much, but the considerable
reduction is welcome and the Government is determined to make further progress
on this area.
“A key commitment in the Programme for Government is to deliver more health
care in the community, so patients can be treated locally and be kept out of
hospital. Multi-disciplinary community mental health teams are being boosted
with the recruitment of 150 extra mental health professionals. At least one of
each mental health profession is represented on each team, which will help to
ensure young people are getting the help they need.
“Just under 1.5% of young people and children in Ireland are accessing CAMHS,
which means the vast majority of young people here are happy and healthy.
However, the profile of those young people who do need to access CAMHS
illustrates the pressures and concerns with which a minority of our teenagers
are coping. Anxiety accounted for almost 20% of cases. More worryingly,
deliberate self-harm or suicidal ideation was the reason for 28% of new
referrals. Depressive disorders increase with age, accounting for almost 22% of
problems experienced by those aged 15 and over.
“About 1 in 10 children and adolescents suffer from mental health disorders.
The Government is committed to improving services in the community, despite our
economic constraints. There are currently 63 multi-disciplinary child and
adolescent teams in place, and a number of new adolescent in-patient units are
being provided, including several in the Greater Dublin Area. We must ensure
that despite increasing demands, we continue to work hard to deliver better
services and positive outcomes.”