A new report into the Ireland’s Health Service Executive’s (HSE) performance has shows young people still struggling to access mental health services. (HSE provides health and social services for all residents of the country).

The new report – looking at the first two months of the year – shows 182 teenagers and children in January and 177 in February who had to wait 12 months or more for an appointment.

Although the HSE’s aim is to have a system where no child or teenager should have to wait that long – things are a lot better than they were this time last year.

The number of teenagers and children waiting more than 12 months fell from 453 in March 2015 down to 177 in February.

The situation as it is now means that around 8% of the young people looking for appointments have been on a waiting list for over a year.

Mental health across the board 

Summing up how the area is performing, the HSE pointed to the number of vacancies in the service and difficulties in recruiting staff as two area that still posed problems.

These shortages, it says, make delivering services at community level much tougher.

For adult mental health services a big target for the HSE is to give people their first appointment, and have them seen within three months of accessing the service.

The HSE’s target for this is 75%, and although it came close to hitting this in the first two months of the year – hitting 69.1% in January and 70.5% in February (and it is worth noting that these figures factor in people who do not attend their appointments).

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Michael Sheils McNamee, TheJournal.ie, May 13, 2016

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