Kerry children and young people are at risk as a result of the turmoil within mental health services in the county.
That’s the view of Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris, who is calling for increased and targeted investment to address the staffing crisis and to ease long waiting lists.
Deputy Ferris says the inability of the government to address the crisis in Kerry’s youth mental health services shows they are not fit to run the health service.
Deputy Martin Ferris says Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have been in a state of crisis for some time now – and Kerry is no different.
He says despite commitments to improve mental health services by the government, the situation for children and young people has gotten worse.
Figures revealed to Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly show the staffing deficit in CAMHS teams is so severe that the services need a €40m investment to address crippling staff shortages, according to the Kerry TD.
Deputy Ferris says there is a shortfall of 37 clinical posts in CAMHS for Cork and Kerry with posts unfilled for psychiatry and psychology, nurse specialists in mental health, social worker and therapy posts.
He believes countless children and young people in Kerry are not receiving the mental health supports they need within the necessary timeframes as a result.
Deputy Martin Ferris says increased and targeted investment to recruit and retain staff and to increase capacity in Kerry is the only way to resolve the current situation.