• June 2024: Publication of new survey report: Experiences of CAMHS: A Family Perspective

The report sets out findings based on the experiences of 736 families across Ireland. 

Full report available to download below: 

 

2024 06 13 Experiences Of CAMHS A Family Perspective Full Report Pdf
PDF – 7.9 MB 286 downloads
  • June 2024: Presentation in the AV Room of Leinster House

On 11th June members of Families for Reform of CAMHS presented a preview of findings from our Report "Experiences of CAMHS: A Family Perspective" to TDs and Senators. The Report will be published on 13th June. 

 

  • May 2024: Report of CAMHS and Dual Diagnosis from the Joint Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Families for Reform of CAMHS was happy to see the Report and recommendations contained references to our group and the reforms and families stories/quotes which we provided in our submission (See November 2023 below).

 

  • May 2024: Meeting with the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon

A follow up meeting from September 2023 was held with the Ombudsman and staff to update them on the work of the group and  developments. 

 

  • April 2024: National survey to capture families experiences of CAMHS

A survey to capture families experiences of CAMHS was held over a 3 week period from 6 April – 28 April. In total, 736 responses were received to the survey representing the experiences of 736 children in Ireland. A survey report capturing the findings from this survey will be published in June. 

 

  • March 2024: Attendance at the Cross-Party Parliamentary Group for Autism

Representatives from Families for Reform of CAMHS were invited by Deputy Micheal Carrigy to attend the cross-party Parliamentary group for autism to discuss our campaign to end the discrimination against autistic children and lack of services for children with intellectual disabilities. 

 

  • February 2024: Email Campaign to call for the urgent Regulation of CAMHS

Families for Reform of CAMHS invited friends and supporters of the group to take part in an email campaign calling for the urgent regulation of CAMHS. Without regulation, we believe that there will continue to be no accountability or prioritisation to reform CAMHS. The group also attended the debate on Sinn Fein's Private Member's Bill to regulate CAMHS on Tuesday 27 February.

 

  • February 2024: Follow up documentation submitted to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health following our appearance in January

 Families for Reform of CAMHS examined individual CHO reports developed by the Mental Health Commission to develop (i) high-level comparative tables to identify where each CHO is doing well and also where it has gaps; and (ii) a one page comparison between CHOs in respect of four areas (waiting lists, per capita funding, CAMHS-ID service and wait times for urgent referrals).

 

2024 02 19 Comparisons Between CAMHS CH Os 1 Pdf
PDF – 145.6 KB 66 downloads
2024.02.19 - Breakdown of good practice and gaps by CHO (2)
PDF – 252.7 KB 70 downloads
  • 17 January 2024: Presentation at the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health

Families for Reform of CAMHS were invited to attend a meeting of the Joint Committee to present the group's proposals in relation to the reform of CAMHS. We focused on the urgent need to: 

  • commit to the Mental Health Commission's 49 recommendations, including regulation of CAMHS; and
  • end the discrimination against autistic children and children with intellectual disabilities

The session can be watched back at the below link and below is our opening statement:

https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/video-archive/committees/8831 

 

2024 01 10 Families For The Reform Of CAMHS Opening Statement To The Oireachtas Health Committee Pdf
PDF – 219.5 KB 61 downloads
  • 22 November 2023: Presentation to the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party

Representatives from Families for Reform of CAMHS were invited by Deputy Ciaran Cannon and Senator Emer Currie to present at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party. The same presentation as that used in the AV Room was provided (see "26 October 2023" below for a copy of the slide deck)

 

  • 15 November 2023: Presentation to Green Party Members/representatives

Representatives from Families for Reform of CAMHS were invited by Deputies Patrick Costello and Neasa Hourigan to present to Green party members/representatives. The same presentation as that used in the AV Room was provided (see "26 October 2023" below for a copy of the slide deck)

 

  • 7 November 2023: Written Submission to the Committee for Children, Disability, Equality, Integration

Families for Reform of CAMHS were invited to make a written submission to the Committee on the topic of "Accessing CAMHS with a dual diagnosis". The submission includes personal stories and stats to create a collective picture of the experiences of families in respect of (i) discrimination against autistic children (ii)the lack of services available for children with intellectual disabilities and (iii)the long wait times and lack of early supports for children with ADHD.

 

2023 11 07 Submission To The Committee For Children On Access To CAMHS With A Dual Diagnosis
PDF – 415.3 KB 172 downloads

 

  • 26 October 2023: Presentation in the AV Room, Leinster House (sponsored by Deputy Mark Ward)

Representatives from Families for Reform of CAMHS were invited by Deputy Mark Ward to present in the AV room of Leinster House to share our experiences with CAMHS and the reforms that we are calling for. The meeting was attended by 17 TDs and Senators along with 11 parliamentary representatives who attended on behalf of a TD or Senator. Slidedeck used at Leinster House can be found below: 

 

 

  • 25 October 2023: Meeting with Minister for Mental Health Mary Butler

Representatives from Famillies for Reform of CAMHS met with Minister for Mental Health Mary Butler to discuss the urgent need to reform CAMHS. We raised our concerns about (i) the treatment of autistic kids and the decision to exclude them from the pilot phase of the CAMHS Hubs; and (ii) the lack of CAMHS-ID services. Some of the items mentioned by the Minister included:

(i) 76 new posts have been secured for CAMHS next year; (ii) The 9 CHOS are being changed to 6 Regional Health Areas (RHAs) in February so this offers a good opportunity for sharing support across Areas where one Area is without a particular service or has a long waiting list; (iii) A new Autism Innovation Strategy is being rolled out by the Department of Children with one action focusing on training CAMHS staff on autism; (iv) The Minister was disappointed with the budget allocated to mental health but will be prioritising CAMHS with what she did secure; (v) A further meeting in January 2024 was committed to - so far we have not managed to secure a date for this meeting [as of 24 May 2024]

 

  • 6 October 2023: Meeting with the Mental Health Commission

Representatives from Families for Reform of CAMHS met with the Mental Health Commission to discuss the 49 recommendations arising from the Commission's report on CAMHS and the importance of the Commission being provided a regulatory/oversight role for CAMHS. The individual CHO reports were also discussed and Families for Reform of CAMHS spoke about to the discrimination against autistic kids in mental health services and the importance that the narrative around autistic kids, as well as how they are treated, be changed.   

 

  • 19 September 2023: Meeting with Mark Ward, T.D. Mental Health Spokesperson for Sinn Fein

Representatives from Families for Reform of CAMHS introduced the group and shared their experiences with CAMHS. Deputy Ward spoke about the work he is doing in this area to push for reform and highlighted the urgent need for regulation and oversight of CAMHS. Potential future opportunities for the group to share its objectives and stories were discussed. 

 

  • 15 September 2023: Meeting with officials from the Mental Health Unit in the Department of Health and Dr Amanda Burke, HSE Clinical lead for Youth Mental Health

Representatives from Families for Reform of CAMHS introduced the group and discussions focused on the submission made to the Minister for Mental Health, Mary Butler at the beginning of the summer. The submission set out the 10 key reforms and related sub-reforms that we are calling for. Topics covered included funding and recruitment for CAMHS and the lack of a CAMHS-ID service for kids with intellectual disabilities. We also highlighted our concerns that the newly launched CAMHS hubs exclude autistic children from the pilot phase. 

 

  • 13 September 2023: Meeting with the Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon 

8 representatives from Families for Reform of CAMHS attended the meeting to introduce the group, share our experiences and what we are calling for.

Issues raised included the lack of a CAMHS-ID service for kids with intellectual disabilities, the treatment of autistic kids and the worrying - and growing trend - where parents with no where else to turn to are using overseas online psychiatrists and the danger this poses due to lack of regulation/oversight.