Meeting the needs of our young people

By Maurice Garvey

A NEW inpatient unit for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) opened last Wednesday at Cherry Orchard Hospital.

Minister of State for Mental Health, Primary Care and Social Care Kathleen Lynch officially opened the Linn Dara inpatient unit – a facility that includes two 11-bed units, one for adolescents up to 18 years, and one for younger adolescents.

Linn Dara unit 5 resized

The Linn Dara South West Dublin Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health teams and the Adolescent Day Hospital service are also located on the Cherry Orchard site – integrating the inpatient services.

Attached to the inpatient unit is a six-room school building, an arts and crafts room, a home economics classroom, and sports facilities.

Youths are admitted to receive assessments of severe disorders, undergo treatment programmes, and achieve discharge back to their families and community care teams.

A family apartment has been provided where families can stay when their child is admitted to the unit.

Minister Lynch said: “The provision of appropriate CAMHS has been a priority over the past number of years. In 2007 there were a total of 12 beds available for the admission of children under the age of 18 years.

"Over the last number of years significant investment in the construction of new inpatient facilities has delivered new inpatient units here at Cherry Orchard, as well as the two new 20-bed units that opened in Galway and Cork in 2011.

“We need to ensure that the physical environment is suitable to help recovery. It is also important for those who are providing the specialist care, in order to give everybody the best chance at a successful outcome.”

Dr Brendan Doody Clinical Director CAMHS Linn Dara said: “We have delivered a new building especially designed to meet the needs of young people, and their families, who require inpatient mental health treatment. It is a state-of-the-art facility that will provides the optimal therapeutic environment, coupled with a multi-disciplinary staff team, to meet the needs of the young people admitted for assessment and treatment.”

In May 2012 the Linn Dara inpatient service moved to an interim facility on the St. Loman’s Hospital site in Palmerstown.

In 2014 there were a total of 46 admissions to the unit. To the end of November 2015 there were 80 admissions.

 

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