Speaking at last week’s Full Council meeting, Ballyarnett representative Rory Farrell gained unanimous support for the local authority to request that the Western Trust and Department of Health “work collaboratively to deliver waiting time targets to access existing mental services”.
Cllr Farrell commented, “We can't talk about mental health without discussing the current waiting lists that exist within the Western Trust.
“The Western Trust measures mental health within four key areas - Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, dementia, adult mental health and psychological therapies.
“And each of those has a target of either nine or 13 weeks to access services. The Trust is missing every one of those targets.”
Cllr Farrell continued, “There are 231 children or young people waiting more than nine weeks to access CAMHS, and the longest has been waiting for 54 weeks. They’ve been waiting over a year to access that service.
“In terms of dementia, there are 394 people in the Trust who have been waiting over nine weeks to access dementia services, and the longest has been waiting 54 weeks.
“In adult mental health services 502 people have been waiting over nine weeks and the longest has been waiting 66 weeks.
“And 1,268 people have been waiting over 13 weeks to access psychological therapies, and the longest has been waiting 171 weeks.”
Cllr Farrell concluded, “This isn't acceptable. Behind each of those figures are human beings that need help and support. And the current support that's being given just isn’t good enough.