About 20 years ago, I was at a press conference where the then Minister of Health, Michel Martin, said that when he visits a town, he often sees local delegations looking for more hospital services. . However, no one was found looking for more mental health services.
As revealed in a report by Mental Health Services Inspector Dr. Susan Finnerty, it’s worth keeping in mind when considering the dire state of mental health services for children and adolescents.
Ultimately, politicians in democracies prioritize what voters want badly enough to vote for. Therefore, it is up to us to continue to push for change in mental health services.
The report paints a tragic picture of mental health services for children and young people limp and often unable to meet needs in a less than adequate way.
– Keep the child in the emergency department for 4 days for psychiatric evaluation.
– I have a child who will reach adulthood (age 18) without transitioning to adult services.
– We have a child whose case seems lost and untracked.
We plan to spend €1.2 billion on mental health this year, representing more than 5% of our healthcare budget. (The World Health Organization recommends his 12%.) But part of this amount going to child and adolescent services is not limited, so it is essentially competing with adult services.
Changing this—regulating their share and protecting it—may be the first and most beneficial thing that can be done.
It should be recognized that the staff of these youth services themselves are overwhelmed. Being subject to paper-based record keeping is like being told to work with your hands tied behind your back in this day and age.
They do not have the necessary amount of supervision, and supervision is an important form of support and control.
Looking at all this, I think the families of the children involved should also be remembered. Keith in The Irish Times on January 26, her Duggan report said the 10-year-old had many distressing symptoms, some of which included dressing, eating, and going to the bathroom. I read an article that said it couldn’t be done. The family had to navigate “a tremendous cycle of waiting lists and referrals” for the service.
Another parent whose child was diagnosed with ADHD was placed on a two-year waiting list to be seen in Limerick. was not seen either. Her mother complained that she was told by Children and Youth Services that no one from Adult Services would care for her because she had an autism spectrum disorder and was on medication for psychosis. I’m here.
I was going to write that you can’t make it up.
I mentioned the family earlier, but it doesn’t take much to understand the confusion and stomach-churning anxiety that parents and siblings must go through when they see a family member going through these experiences. There is no need to ponder.
On top of that, they have the stress of dealing with mental health services and are often too overwhelmed to do what they should be doing.
Governments should start by limiting the budget for child and adolescent services, and commit to spending no more than the 12% recommended by the World Health Organization. Even the UK, with all the problems it faces, is slightly ahead of the WHO target.
The report by Dr. Susan Finnerty is the latest in a series of wake-up calls about mental health services for young people.
I have to wake up this time.
– Padraig O’Morain (Instagram, Twitter: @padraigomorain) is accredited by the Irish Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy. His next book, Acceptance-create change and move forward, will be published in his March. His Daily Mindfulness His reminders are available free by email (email@example.com).