What does South Kerry Camhs report reveal about Irish mental health services?

In the News podcast: How child and adolescent mental health service broke down

Last month, a report into South Kerry’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Camhs) shed light on how Ireland cares for some of its youngest mental health patients.

The Maskey report found “unreliable diagnoses, inappropriate prescriptions and poor monitoring of treatment and potential adverse effects” was exposing many children to the risk of significant harm.

It also highlighted the severe lack of resources available across the State when it comes to specialist child mental health services. There should be 100 specialist Camhs teams in Ireland but only 72 are in operation, Dr Ian Kelleher, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, told the In the News podcast.

Many teams are grossly understaffed, while clinicians are stretched to the limit trying to keep up with urgent referrals and provide quality care, said Dr Kelleher.

“Imagine a specialist cardiology service being run without a cardiologist, or a specialist cancer service being run without an oncologist. It would be completely unacceptable that those services would be running without those specialists in place. And yet that’s exactly what was happening in Kerry.”

Today: What does the South Kerry Camhs report tell us about Ireland’s crumbling mental health services?

In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope

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Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast