Lengthy waits for youngsters for mental health support

MORE needs to be done for children and young people with mental health issues, it has been claimed at a meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh Council. 
Children and young people within the Western Trust have to wait nine weeks for a non-urgent appointment, 10 days for an urgent appointment and one day for an emergency appointment.
 Cllr Barry McElduff raised concerns that these targets are being breached within the Western Trust as hundreds of young people and children are being forced to wait beyond the nine week target for non-urgent appointments. 
At the monthly Fermanagh and Omagh District Council meeting in the Townhall, Enniskillen the issue of staffing and the provision of mental health services was discussed. 
Sinn Fein Cllr Barry McElduff said the Council recently had a useful meeting with the Western Trust and the staffing crisis was one of the key talking points. He explained, “We need provision for mental health services among young people and children as the integrated care pathway may be breached within the Western Trust.”
Mr McElduff also added that while he is aware that the Trust is attempting to recruit staff, the process of recruitment takes such a long time but the recruitment of relevant professionals needs to be addressed urgently and more most be done to recruit these staff. 
Donal O’Cofaigh agreed saying there needs to a more sustainable approach to staff development.
 Cllr O’Cofaigh added he had 16 questions for the Western Trust at a recent meeting, and was not happy with the response he received. 
Cllr Anne Marie Fitzgerald added that it was a sad situation due to the huge cuts in all departments adding the money was not coming down from the higher bodies but said ‘we must praise staff for the support and help they give to children and their families.’ 

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