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Written Answers - Mental Health Services

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 595.  Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  his views on the creation of youth mental health teams including psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses to address and enhance mental health services for young persons; if he is initiating any measures to address mental health services for 16 and 17 year olds across the country including north Dublin where adolescents who need to access mental health services cannot be seen by child psychiatric services and in view of the ban on the admission of adolescents into adult wards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7854/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The development of comprehensive Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for young people up to 18 years is recommended in the policy document A Vision for Change; traditionally CAMHS had been organised for young people up to the age of 16. A Vision for Change therefore requires the HSE to remodel the psychiatric service and to reconfigure resources. Currently transitional arrangements apply in relation to services for children in the 16/17 year [954]old age group, as resources need to be redirected from the adult service to the child and adolescent service, to enable that service take over full responsibility for 16/17 year olds.

Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams are the first line of specialist mental health services. For CAMHS teams to work effectively, a range of disciplines, skills and perspectives are required so that children and adolescents are offered a care and treatment package appropriate to their individual needs; 56 such teams are currently in place. Special funding allocated to the HSE in 2012 will, in part, be used to complete the multidisciplinary profile of the existing CAMHS teams by ensuring, at a minimum, that at least one of each mental health profession (medical, nursing, clinical psychology, social work, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, child care worker) is represented on every team.

In terms of in-patient facilities, at present, psychiatric bed capacity for children and adolescents is 44. During 2012, a further 8 beds will be commissioned in Cork, the second phase of development at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview will be completed with the opening of the new 12 bed adolescent unit, and an interim 8 bed older adolescent unit will open at St. Loman’s Hospital, Palmerstown. In addition a new child and adolescent day hospital will open in Cherry Orchard Dublin shortly.

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