Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath Joe Flaherty
Improvements in the provision of mental health services for young people are urgently required in the Midlands, according to local Fianna Fáil TD Joe Flaherty.
Deputy Flaherty highlighted separate cases of two young people who he was assisting as they and their families seek mental health services.
He commented, “I want to wish the new Minister well in her role. Knowing Minister Butler I have no doubt she will do well in dealing with the immediate challenges her Department faces.
“The Programme for Government pledges to work to end the admission of children to adult psychiatric hospital units and seeks to expand mental health supports for young people.
“COVID-19 and the long-term effects of this deadly disease will also include wide reaching mental health issues. It is important we have robust mental health supports in place to deal with this. I was alarmed to study a recent UNICEF report which showed Ireland has the 4th highest rate of teen suicide in the EU and the OCED with 10.3 per 100,000.
“I raised with the Minister my hope that we will be able to implement a dedicated Youth Mental Health Service (YAMS) to County Longford to support our young people in the region.
“I have raised directly with the HSE two recent cases that I and my office have been supporting. In both cases there is a young person who needs urgent help to deal with mental health matters but are coming up against a slow and under resourced system.
“Patients and their families want a fit for purpose service based on intervention and based on real meaningful engagement and recovery with patients. I look forward to working with the Minister to see her succeed in supporting these families and so many young people around the country,” concluded Deputy Flaherty.