Commissioner Calls For Action On Mental Health Services

A review into child and adolescent mental health services has revealed that urgent action must be taken to improve services, according the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Barney McNeany. A review of the services, which has been published as part of the work of the Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability, has highlighted the lack of appropriate facilities, problems recruiting staff and the need for expanded services.

Commenting on the findings of the review, NICCY Commissioner, Barney McNeany said: “Since the office of the Children’s Commissioner was first set-up we have said that services for children and young people who need help with their mental health are inadequate.”

“We have campaigned on issues such as suicide, self-harm and young people having to share mental health wards with adults. I believe the recommendations of this report, together with the suicide strategy announced earlier this year, means the Government must now act with increasing urgency to improve services.”

Mr McNeany added that strategies, consultations and reviews on child and adolescent mental health services had been going on for several years and that Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Paul Goggins has agreed to meet with NICCY in coming weeks to further discuss the issue.

He continued: “At that meeting I will be emphasising to Mr Goggins that immediate action has to be taken to improve services. Children and young people who were in need of help three years ago are still having to make do with services that from the evidence of this review and from what families have told us, are clearly not good enough.”