Offaly TD expresses concern over child mental health
Offaly TD Carol Nolan has highlighted the increase in children presenting with mental health distress and has described as ‘catastrophic’ the compound impact on other siblings and the wider family.
Speaking at the Joint Committee on the future of Mental Health Care, Deputy Nolan was responding to a panel of witnesses presenting testimony on preventive mental health care, early intervention and talk therapy.
The Independent Offaly-North Tipperary TD spoke of her 12 years in education and questioned the panel on proposals to increase resources for both school going and third level students in distress.
The Committee signalled the alarming rate of increase in anxiety related disorders, in particular amongst primary school going children, and Dr Harry Barry indicated that use of digital technology is a significant contributor to this increased trend.
Deputy Nolan enquired about the Dept of Education Psychological Services (NEPS) and sought clarity regarding the 1:24 Psychologist to schools ratio. Deputy Nolan also enquired as to the how NEPS was responding to the additional demands on the service and the Official explained that 20% of their resources are now targeted at training teachers as frontline responders.
Deputy Nolan concluded by highlighting the need for investment in mental health supports for third level students which has now reached crisis level.
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