Children’s Mental Health Coalition current priorities

Below is an outline of the priorities of the CMHC’s three sub groups for the next year:

Care and Youth Justice sub-group

The Coalition will continue to advocate on the key recommendations of the Someone to Care report, namely:

– Listen to the voice of the child: involve young people in planning service developments, education and consultation

– Issue a policy statement and national strategy to address the mental health needs of children and young people in the care of the state

– Establish a common assessment framework and ongoing monitoring of children’s and young people’s mental health needs

– Provide stability for children and young people in the care and in youth justice systems

– Provide adequate, equitable access to services

– Establish mandatory protocols for inter-agency work

– Develop training programmes in identifying and understanding psychological well-being issues, as an integral part of professional development for all professionals

– Provide legislative protection for children and young adults leaving care or the youth justice system, and for children who are homeless


Education sub-group

The Coalition will continue to advocate for the implementation of the national guidelines on mental health for primary and post primary schools, namely:

– The appointment of a senior official within the Department of Education and Skills

– Liaison with the Children’s Services Committees

– Inter-agency working between schools and CAMHS

– Allocation of assigned resources

– Communication with the wider community and external agencies working in the area of mental health and youth work

– Anti-bullying strategies

– Recognition of the particular risk of developing mental health difficulties among children who are  deaf

– ‘One Good Adult’

– Training on mental health in all teacher training curriculums

– A commitment by the DES to provide basic training for all school teachers

– Monitoring and evaluation of the guidelines by the Department of Education and Skills on a long-term basis


Children’s Mental Health Services Sub-group 

The Coalition will continue to advocate on the key recommendations of its report on meeting the mental health support needs of children and adolescents, namely:

– Enhance mental health promotion to increase protective factors and decrease risk factors for developing mental health difficulties.

– Build the capacity of the primary care sector to provide comprehensive mental health services to children and adolescents, including early intervention, detection and appropriate interventions for child and adolescent mental health difficulties and conditions.

– Develop specific quality standards and guidelines for CAMHS.

– Increase accessibility of child and adolescent mental health services.

– Develop local alternatives to inpatient services such as assertive outreach, early intervention in psychosis and other community-based intensive supports, in addition to family centred supports.

– Ensure accessible, developmentally appropriate, and evidence informed specialist inpatient services for children and adolescents with complex or acute mental health difficulties, including children or adolescents with a dual diagnosis of mental health and substance misuse and children with both learning and mental health difficulties.

– Develop and implement a national framework to support children and adolescents to effectively transition from CAMHS to adult mental health services.

– Effective and meaningful participatory structures should be resourced, mandated and evaluated to facilitate children’s, young people’s and their families’ involvement in child and adolescent mental health service design, care planning, service delivery and service evaluation.


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