New figures have revealed a staggering amount of young people are waiting for mental health appointments.
According to data gathered by the Health Service Executive (HSE), 2,691 children and young adults are currently waiting to be given an appointment.
And it is a long wait. Over 380 of those on the list have not been able to get an appointment for over 12 months.
The shocking news was pointed out by Fianna Fáil's spokesperson on mental health, James Browne.
According to The Irish Mirror, the TD attributed the impacted appointment list to “major service gaps” in overlooked areas of the country, including Cork and Kerry.
“Telling GPs to refer children and young adults to Emergency Departments is wholly inappropriate,” he explained.
“For the past two years, we have consistently heard from the HSE that they are having trouble in terms of recruiting and retaining mental health professionals."
Regular reports by the Mental Health Commission on breaches of human rights and lack of basic dignity at mental health centres yet government continues to ignore and sideline MH patients in these centres @MHReform @fiannafailparty #MentalHealthMatters #MentalHealth @rtenews https://t.co/kASsVVWO7l
— James Browne TD (@JamesBrowneTD) September 6, 2018
He went on to call the situation a “a stain on its [the State’s] legacy”.
“In all too many EDs, there is no access to CAMHS professionals, and it is not fair on the patients and their families."
Not only is the situation “not fair” for young people, but the increased waiting times can put children at risk if they have serious mental health issues that require immediate access to professional advice.
Mental health has been a rising issue, especially among younger generations and is now the number one workplace illness for millenials.
Hopefully, the State will find a way to reduce the lengthy wait times and ensure that young people’s mental health is made a priority.
"This is simply not acceptable at a time when everyone is talking, quite rightly, about the need for all people to talk openly and honestly about their mental health," the TD urged.