Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (612)

Joan Burton


612. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health his plans to address the delays in access and lack of resources in mental health services for children and young persons; his plans to implement in full the recommendations of the report of the task force on youth mental health; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18416/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Youth Mental Health Task Force was established in response to an undertaking in the Programme for Partnership Government 2016. It was asked to produce a series of action-focused recommendations to increase youth-specific mental health initiatives nationally. The Taskforce report was published in December 2017 and actions are to be delivered over a three-year time frame.

Since publication of the Taskforce report, a number of the recommendations have been incorporated into the service plans of lead agencies who are delivering on the actions assigned to them. The implementation of these recommendations has been on-going. Since the report was launched a number of priorities have been delivered including; the provision of additional on-line information and sign-posting tools and supports; development of a resilience-based national mental health promotion campaign; provision of multi-disciplinary mental health training; the introduction of perinatal mental health training to staff; the development of several on-line supports such as crisis text line and tele-counselling; and the introduction of a revised junior cycle curriculum in schools to include more mental health awareness.

There is a number of outstanding recommendations yet to be implemented and it is intended that these will be implemented within the three-year time frame.