Disappointment at mental health reply

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Moira teenager, Megan Haste, who wrote an open letter to the Minister, Michelle O’Neill, on mental health services has said she is disappointed by the response she received,

Nineteen year old Megan, who has suffered from mental health issues since she was a child, wrote an open letter to the Health Minister expressing her concern about the lack of mental health provision, particularly for children and young people.

The Health Minister said that due to “diary commitments” she was unable to meet with Megan to discuss her concerns.

However, she did address the issues raised in a letter to the Moira teen.

In a letter replying to Megan’s concerns, the Health Minister said: “Mental health is one of my key priorities and Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have received considerable investment in recent years.

“Investment in CAMHS has increased from £9.5 million in 2006 to £19 million.

“This figure includes £2.27 million invested in 2012/13 by the HSCB to establish Primary Mental Health Teams and Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Services across all Trusts.

“The figure does not include investments made by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in a wide range of children’s services such as family support services, safeguarding and primary care SETVICES,

“Investment in CAMHS has increased from £9.5 million in 2006 to £19 million.

“This figure includes £2.27 million invested in 2012/13 by the HSCB to establish Primary Mental Health Teams and Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Services across all Trusts.”

However, Megan said she is “thoroughly disappointed” with the response she received from the Health Minister, adding that “throwing money at a service that isn’t working will not help.

“It’s as effective as throwing glitter at it – it may make it prettier, but it won’t make it fit for purpose.

“At what point do we stop and go ‘okay, so this ‘care model’ is failing young people tremendously, how do we improve it?’

“I’m a great believer in patient-lead care, and stand by what I initially said to Ms. O’Neill in my open letter to her – work with young people to create an adequate service.

“The fact remains that young people and their parents are still disappointed with the current services being provided by CAMHS.”