He was speaking after officials from Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services addressed Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health & Community committee.
Said the Ballyarnett representative: “Ministerial targets state that children should not wait longer than nine weeks to access mental health services.
“The Western Trust is missing this target and the number of children waiting over nine weeks has quadrupled in the last year. That is a shocking and shameful statistic, and one that must be addressed.
“The figure for April 2019 was 116, but the figure for this April was 488 – that’s a four-fold increase.
“The impact of COVID-19 may have affected these statistics, but the upward trend existed well before the outbreak.
“In January 2019, 86 children and young people were waiting over nine weeks to access the service but the figure this January was 329.”
Cllr Farrell added: “The Western Trust is failing to meet its targets and it is failing each and every one of the 488 children and young people waiting over nine weeks to access mental health services.
“Mental health is a very well documented issue in our city.
“Early intervention is key and the Western Trust and the Department of Health should act quickly and decisively to address the spiralling waiting lists for children displaying mental health issues.”