Mental Health Reform (MHR) have launched a campaign to call on the Government to provide 24/7 mental health care to children and young people in Ireland.
The mental health organisation are expanding on their successful 2017 #InOurHourOfNeed campaign when they secured a commitment from Government to roll out 7 days a week community mental health services across Ireland. However, this commitment only applied to adult services.
Now MHR want the Government to extend that commitment to services for children and young people in Ireland by allowing access to the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at any time of the day or night.
What is CAMHS?
CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and is a free service that helps children and young people, up to age 18 years of age, with moderate to severe mental health difficulties.
To attend CAMHS you must be referred by a health professional such as your GP, social worker or psychologist. The waiting list to access CAMHS can sometimes take a couple of months or longer to attend the service, with urgent cases being given priority.
Learn more about attending CAMHS here.
Why 24/7 access?
A mental health crisis can happen at any time, day or night. Most CAMHS locations are only open Monday – Friday during office hours, usually 9am – 5pm. If a child or young person experiences a mental health crisis at the weekend or outside of these hours, they will have to attend the Emergency Department of a hospital to find help.
This can be a scary experience for a child or a young person, and it is not a place where they can get the most appropriate care. Mental Health Reform believe they should be able to access the right service at any time, whenever they need it.
How to get involved
If you would like to join Mental Health Reform in calling for 24/7 access to CAMHS, there are a few things you can do:
- Contact your local TD or Representative and ask for their support of 24/7 CAMHS
- Share your support for 24/7 CAMHS online using #InOurHourOfNeed
- Like and share Mental Health Reform's social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Donate to Mental Health Reform to make their voice louder as they call for 24/7 CAMHS
You can also share the following message on social media to let others know about the campaign:
"A mental health crisis can happen at any time, day or night. Ireland needs 24/7 Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). I support the call for 24/7 CAMHS #InOurHourOfNeed www.mentalhealthreform.ie/campaigns/inourhourofneed"