Health Spokesperson, Gino Kenny, To Move Amendment To Sinn Féin CAMHS Motion


Richard Boyd Barrett to challenge government on the HSE’s failure to  address the issue of overmedication despite this having been requested by him a year ago

In advance of this evening’s Dáil debate on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), People Before Profit Spokesperson on Mental Health, Deputy Gino Kenny has welcomed the Motion and is hoping that Sinn Fein will accept the People Before Profit amendments.

The People Before Profit amendments include that any review of CAMHS must be completely independent and will include reporting on any other similar cases of whistleblowers in other CAMHS services; that extra resources for child mental health must include staffing of Primary Care, the Early Intervention Teams, National Educational Psychological Services; and the removal of the financial barriers faced by psychology students, in particular, trying to complete their full qualifications.

Deputy Kenny said “The revelations from South Kerry CAMHS are distressing and raise once again the outrageous under-resourcing of mental health services and consequent overmedication of children that now need to be reviewed independently and robustly.”

Deputy Kenny said: “It would not be acceptable for the HSE to investigate itself in relation to its own multiple failings. It is essential that the review is fully independent of the HSE and that the response to and treatment of all CAMHS whistleblowers is reviewed and a report published.”

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett will challenge the Government on its failure to act on the HSE’s failings in mental health care for children and adolescents over many years.

“The Government is acting as if the issue of the scandalous and damaging overmedication of children in Kerry is a surprise. But I have been hearing reports and asking parliamentary questions about this kind of malpractice as far back as 2015.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett also will say: “Last April I asked the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to order a review of the use and overuse of psychiatric medication in children across all CAMHS and in particular to review the way chronic understaffing of CAMHS and a complete failure to resource primary care was leading to this overmedication. The Minister just passed this off to the HSE (attached) who  brushed off the request for a review”.

“This practice of the Minister passing all questions about how the HSE operates to the HSE has to stop.  What is he responsible for if not what the HSE does?”