Over 2,500 children in Ireland waiting more than a year for an initial mental health assessment, according to new figures.
Research released by children's charity Barnardos revealed that there are serious delays across the health service, with a quarter of families reporting that they have been waiting over a year to access Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Approximately 35% of respondents have been waiting more than two years to receive treatment from CAMHS and said that the delays were "affecting their child’s mood and wellbeing ".
Half of parents questioned said they had been waiting for at least a year for their child to receive a speech and language assessment, with 15% waiting for more than two years.
“These delays have long-term unnecessary consequences on the child, eroding their chance to grow and thrive, affecting every aspect of their development for the sake of offering timely interventions," CEO Fergus Finlay told The Irish Times.
“These delays harm children, and this harm could be prevented. This is utterly unacceptable."