Friday, 14th April 2023 – Speaking this morning at the 2023 Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) Annual Delegate Conference taking place in Tullow, Co. Carlow, Children’s Ombudsman, Dr. Niall Muldoon, described the levels of investment in Child Mental Health Services as “unacceptably low and an insult to children.”
He said: “Expenditure on mental health services as a percentage of total health expenditure has been in decline for forty years and now stands at just 5.2% of total spending on health. The budget allocated to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is just 10% of the mental health services budget, or just 0.63% of the overall health budget.”
“Against the backdrop that two-thirds of adult mental health issues have their origins in childhood and very high levels of referrals to CAMHS, the levels and decline in funding are unacceptably low and an insult to children.”
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes said the assessment from the Childrens’ Ombudsman confirmed the PNA’s long standing concerns about underinvestment in CAHMS services nationally.
He said: “The extent of failings in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services was confirmed in January when the Mental Health Commission (MHC) issued an interim report on their review of the provision of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).”
He said: “This Report is a damning indictment of years’ of under investment in Mental Health Services, and a lack of workforce planning within these services, and particularly in CAMHS.”
“It also highlights a CAMHS service that is failing children, young people, families, communities, and its staff. The pressures and burnout being experienced by staff left to cope with staffing shortages in CAMHS is intolerable and growing.”
Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 086-2430535