CAMHS reform must be Government priority

15 February 2024

Labour’s Health Spokesperson Duncan Smith TD today underscored the critical need for immediate action in reforming the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). With mounting concerns over the well-being of our youth, Smith highlighted the urgent demand for governance and clinical reforms in CAMHS, stressing the limitations of the Mental Health Commission in ensuring these vital changes are implemented.

Deputy Smith said:

“The state of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services demands our immediate attention. We are witnessing a crisis unfold before our eyes, with young people facing unprecedented challenges to their mental well-being. The Mental Health Commission provides recommendations on governance and clinical reforms, but their lack of statutory authority severely hampers their ability to enforce these necessary changes.

“The current situation is untenable. Families are left struggling to navigate a fragmented system that fails to provide adequate support and care for their children’s mental health needs. We cannot continue to allow this negligence to persist.

“In addition we know the workload for people working in CAMHS is completely overwhelming and Government must fund it adequately. In Labour’s Alternative Budget we called for New Mental Health funding to support implementation of Sharing the Vision, and adequate resourcing of CAMHS.

“Government must grant the Mental Health Commission the essential statutory powers needed to regulate CAMHS effectively. It is imperative that we empower the Mental Health Commission with the authority to enforce necessary reforms in CAMHS. Every day that passes without decisive action puts more young lives at risk. The time for complacency is over.”


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