Over 100 young people waiting for first CAMHS assessment

Latest available statistics indicate that there are currently over 100 young people in County Roscommon waiting a number of months for a first assessment with the HSE’s mental health services. The figures, made public this week, reveal that as of April of this year, 108 young people locally are on a CAMHS waiting list which is weighed down by “unprecedented” demand.

According to the HSE, 21 young people from County Roscommon were waiting between six and nine months for a first referral with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) as of April 2022. A further 44 young people were waiting between three and six months to have a first engagement with the service, while 43 individuals were on the waiting list for up to three months.

The bleak figures – provided in response to a query by Independent councillor Tony Ward – confirm that at least 108 young people were waiting several weeks or months for a first assessment appointment with CAMHS as of April last.

The HSE said it had to commence a waiting list for Community Healthcare West CAMHS due to “unprecedented post-pandemic demand” which is further compounded by the challenges in recruiting CAMHS specialists.

Responding to Cllr. Ward’s query at Monday’s Regional Health Forum (West) in Galway, the HSE said that CAMHS referrals are reviewed and prioritised on the basis of clinical necessity.

Even though the Forum took place on Tuesday, June 28th, the HSE expressed confidence that experienced staff will be recruited by the end of the month (i.e. today).

The HSE said: “We have an active waiting list management system, regularly reviewing clinical priority of referrals. We have received funding as part of the national CAMHS waiting list initiative and we are allocating this to recruit experienced CAMHS professionals and expect them in place by the end of this month.

“We plan to address a substantial element of the existing waiting list over the next six months. We continue to advocate for funding to address the demands within the CAMHS services”.