There has been a 5% increase in the number of children seeing mental health services in the city since the end of 2017.

Figures from March show that 164 children are seeking an initial appointment with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) within Dublin Central – an increase from 156 since the end of last year.

Picture: Max Pixel

CAMHS services are available to young people under 18 and their families who are experiencing mental health difficulties, as defined by the HSE.

These include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis and more.
Between 2012 and 2017, there was a 26% increase in referrals to CAMHS, as detailed in the HSE’s 2018 National Service Plan (NSP).

The 2018 NSP details that youth mental health will be a “focus for 2018”.

The children on this waiting list could potentially be waiting months for a preliminary appointment, despite the NSP saying it aims to “deliver a major improvement initiative to increase the numbers of CAMHs referrals to be seen in 2018 by 27%”.

This would mean that more than 3,000 additional young people should be seen year-on-year.

James Barry, project manager of Jigsaw Dublin City, a mental health support initiative for young people, said it has seen a “steady rise” in young people accessing their service.

He told Dublin Gazette: “Since we opened in November 2016, we have seen a steady rise in the young people accessing our service.

“We would see increased demand for services being a positive development within our communities as it means that the work we and others are doing in reducing stigma, raising awareness and supporting help seeking is working.”