Over 1,600 children wait in excess of a year for psychology date

State and HSE ‘have duty to do better by these children’, says FF mental health spokesman

Just over 100 children waiting for a psychology appointment were aged four or younger. File photograph: Getty Images

Just over 100 children waiting for a psychology appointment were aged four or younger. File photograph: Getty Images

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More than 1,600 children have been waiting over a year for a psychology appointment, new figures show.

The data, provided to Fianna Fáil spokesman on mental health James Browne, shows 6,181 children waiting for a primary care psychology appointment at the end of January.

Of these, 1,635 of them had been waiting more than a year. Some 101 were aged four or younger, while 1,534 were aged five to 17. This largest waiting list was in the Cork/Kerry area where there were 563 children waiting in excess of a year to be seen.

Mr Browne said the figures demonstrated an “ongoing crisis in . . . mental health services for children”.

Time was “of the essence when dealing with vulnerable children and teenagers”, he said. “The State and the HSE have a duty to do better by these children. Renewed efforts need to be made to address these waiting lists. Such deficiencies in mental health services for children cannot be allowed to continue.”

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