McGrath: Concerned over Young People’s Mental Health Services
Commenting the SDLPs Children’s and Young People’s Spokesperson said:
"I am deeply concerned at the information from the Department of Health which analysed the numbers of young people referred to their mental health services and the number of young people offered services/interventions.
"I am concerned at the regional disparity with the figures that see 33% of Belfast Trust cases redirected (in some cases with no services being offered at all) and yet in the Northern area only 2% are redirected. Also while Belfast sees the highest amount of cases at nearly four thousand in the South Eastern area there are only 600 for a population roughly the same size.
"The figures presented highlight potential inconsistencies in approach, differing thresholds for referrals and unequal methods for passing cases on.
"For the mental health of our children and young people this is not acceptable. We must have a consistent approach that addresses both the presenting needs but also addressing the underlying causes. Only then will we be adequately meeting the needs of our young people.
"I have written directly to the Permanent Secretary for Health to demand answers.
"If as a society we are to tell our children and young people that we care about them, value them and share their aspirations for the future then we need to work to restore local power to ensure the delivery of a Mental Health Strategy that serves the needs of the people in 2018."