February 2024: Email Campaign asking for political support for Tuesday's Private Member's Bill to regulate CAMHS
We are asking friends and supporters to consider sending the letter below - which can be downloaded and signed - to email@example.com
Sinn Fein are bringing a Private Member's Bill to regulate CAMHS on Tuesday 27 February. We are asking TDs across parties to support this Bill. Safe and effective mental health services should be a matter that all parties can agree on. Please take two minutes of your time to send this email and show there is widespread support for the regulation of CAMHS! Thank you
- February 2024: Email Campaign to call for the urgent Regulation of CAMHS
Families for Reform of CAMHS is inviting our friends and supporters of the group to take part in our newest email campaign calling for the regulation of CAMHS. Without regulation, we believe that there will continue to be no accountability or prioritisation to reform CAMHS.
Taking part will only take 2 minutes and could help us to make a big impact!
Below you will find two documents:
- a template email. Just add the TDs name and sign your own name before emailing it to your local TDs; and
- a list of all TDs and their email addresses.
If you have time after, please consider emailing us to let us know who you emailed and if you receive or don't receive any responses as we are keeping track of all engagement to see where support lies: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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:
- 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.
- 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 the treatment of autistic kids and the decision to exclude them from the pilot phase of the CAMHS Hubs. We raised the issue of the lack of CAMHS-ID services. Some of the items mentioned by the Minister included:
- 76 new posts have been secured for CAMHS next year
- 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.
- A new Autism Innovation Strategy is being rolled out by the Department of Children with one action focusing on training CAMHS staff on autism.
- The Minister was disappointed with the budget allocated to mental health but will be prioritising CAMHS with what she did secure.
A further meeting in January 2024 was committed to - so far we have not managed to secure a date for this meeting [as of 2 February 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. 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. As we did not have enough time to cover everything, 18 questions were submitted following the meeting to which we are currently waiting for a response [as of 23/02/2024].
- 13 September 2023: Meeting with the Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon and Head of Policy Karen McCauley:
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.