The HSE has released figures showing that a staggering 1,784 children have been waiting over a year for an appointment to see a psychologist. As many as 789 young people have been waiting more than nine months to make an appointment.


5,954 children in total are still on waiting lists for a psychology appointment. Regional breakdowns reveal that all areas are affected by wait times. This tells us that about 30 percent of the children on the waiting list have been waiting for over a year.


Fianna Fáil mental health spokesperson James Browne says that the statistics are unacceptable and that this is “clear evidence of a crisis” in terms of services for children and young people.


“The fact is, that almost one-in-three children waiting for an appointment has been on a list for over a year. It’s simply unacceptable that so many should wait so long. Vulnerable children and teenagers need this service, and we have an obligation to provide it,” James Browne said, according to The


“There are significant regional variations in these figures. My own county of Wexford has 230 youngsters waiting over a year, while Cork has some 456 in the same category. In Galway, there are 208 waiting for these critical services." 



“Growing up in Ireland today can pose enormous mental challenges for young people. As in so many areas, early intervention is critical; and if we are seeing waiting times of over a year, our care services are failing. This is a crisis, and we need to tackle it,” he further told Hot Press


The figures waiting for a psychologist appointment have reportedly doubled since November 2016.


Anne O’Connor, National Director Mental Health of the HSE, pointed out that the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services was never meant to be a “catch-all service”; it was supposed to serve children and adolescents with severe mental illnesses.


“The problem is that CAMHS takes everybody because there is nothing else there,” Ann told The Irish Times


“In an ideal world, the first step for a young person who presents with a mental health problem is to get help in school, to go to their GP and get access to a primary care-based psychology or family counselling service. Our mission is actually to keep people out of CAMHS.”


On May 30 of this year, the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare published Sláintecare; its proposal for a 10-year strategy to “radically transform” the current healthcare system in Ireland as it stands. Let's hope it addresses these issues.