HSE Mid West Community Healthcare say reducing overall waiting times for CAMHS is a key priority.
The comment comes following a call from Deputy Martin Browne for urgent investment in the service in the midst of soaring waiting lists.
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service caters for those up to the age of 18 who have moderate to severe mental disorders that require the input of a multi-disciplinary team.
However the HSE acknowledges that across the Mid West there are currently increased numbers of children presenting with acute mental health difficulties.
These young people require priority interventions which can have an impact on other children already on the waiting list.
As of March 31st this year there were 29 children in North Tipperary waiting over three months for an initial assessment including 12 waiting more than a year.
Since January 2020, there has been an increase in referrals of 61%.
In a statement to Tipp FM HSE Mid West says a number of service investments have been made to reduce waiting times.
The number of CAMHS registered consultants in the Mid West has increased to 8.6 Whole Time Equivalent – up from 3.6WTE in January 2022.
These consultants are also being supported through the appointment of additional Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors.
Recruitment is currently underway for additional staff to strengthen CAMHS Teams across the Mid West
A new consultant-led multidisciplinary CAMHS Hub is being developed in Limerick.
HSE Mid West point out that any expansion of services requires the recruitment of specialist mental health staff – at present, recruitment of these staff is extremely difficult for all health services in Ireland and internationally.
If a young person experiences increased acuity in their presentation while they are on a waiting list, they can seek an urgent appointment with the CAMHS service through their GP.
North Tipperary CAMHS Service can be contacted on 067 46455.