16 June 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South-Central, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, has said the increase in waiting times for the Jigsaw youth mental health service is “extremely worrying” and urged the government to act as a matter of priority.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire has called on the Minister to urgently engage with the service to provide a solution and ensure young people can get mental health supports without unnecessary delays.
The Cork South-Central TD said:
“Figures released to Sinn Féin by the HSE through a Parliamentary Question have revealed extremely worrying wait times for Jigsaw; the mental health service which provides vital supports to young people.
“In Cork, there are currently 404 young people waiting for a first appointment, far and above the highest of any of the CHO areas. On average, young people in Cork are waiting for 18 weeks for a first appointment. This is a significant increase from 11 weeks in 2021.
“Every expert in child and adolescent mental health will tell you that early intervention is absolutely vital in avoiding enduring and worsening problems in the future.
“Yet, these figures reveal that if a child or young person seeks out care, they are in all likelihood going to be faced with extended waiting periods. These wait times are simply unacceptable and put those in need of help and their mental health at a very serious risk.
“Behind every number is a young person who needs help and should have access to services in a timely way. This cry for help from our young people cannot fall on deaf ears.
“Children and young people across Cork deserve better. We need to move away from the postcode lottery for mental health treatment.
“I am urging the Minister to urgently engage with the service to ensure this is resolved. We must see adequate funding and resources put in place to end these long waits.”