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Don't let teens fall through cracks - Conway

Posted on May 05, 2011 at 03:49 PM

This week Deputy Ciara Conway has been contributing to the Dáil debate on suicide.

One in four people in Ireland has, at some point, suffered with a mental health issue - a fact highlighted by Waterford's Ciara Conway this week during the debate .

Deputy Conway pointed out that she is well aware of the challenge of tackling mental health issues in this country. Before becoming a TD she worked as a Social Worker with the H.S.E and saw first-hand the problems people are facing.

The Deputy referred to a report by Sally E. Bonnar on the' Admission of Young People to Adult Mental Health Wards '.

This study deals with the phenomenon whereby under 18's are often placed in Adult Psychiatric Units. It also shows that there is a particular problem with finding healthcare for 16 and 17 year olds, some of whom can end up in child and adolescent units as there is nowhere else to go Deputy Conway is backing the findings of this report and called for investment in this area, to stamp out problems such as those raised.

The Labour Deputy has also been pointing out the importance of preventative care- to stop mental health issues before they arise.

She cited the 'Perry Pre-School Programme' , a long-term study in the States which followed children between 3 and 5 . It found that investment in language, literacy and social and emotional development had a direct bearing on preventing mental health issues in later life, particularly in the case of children from less-wealthy backgrounds.

The Deputy wants Ministers from the Departments of Health, Education and Community Affairs to work together and invest in the mental health of our young people. She advocates investment at a young age, which will prevent mental health problems in late life.

You can also see some of our other deputies contributions to the debate, just click on the links below to be brought to their contributions on our You Tube channel.

Deputy Aodhan O'Riordain

Deputy Anne Ferris

Deputy Brendan Ryan

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