40% of minors in Kerry seeking mental health services waiting over a year

40% of minors in Kerry awaiting mental health services have been doing so for over a year.

The figures were released at the recent Southern Regional Health Forum meeting.747 minors are waiting to access Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Kerry and Cork; 230 of those are waiting 12 months or longer.

33 of the 70 minors in South Kerry are on the list over 12 months.

In Kerry North, 29 minors are waiting; seven are on the list for over a year.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare says an increase in referrals to the service and difficulties filling staff posts including consultants have impacted on waiting lists.

An enhancement project for the service began last October with an initial focus on the areas with the longest waiting lists; extra staffing resources were also approved in December.

Extensive efforts are ongoing to fill remaining vacancies on a permanent basis.

A specialist Eating Disorder Team is also to be developed.