Speaking at Council’s Health & Community meeting last week, the Ballyarnett representative said: “We’re all aware of the mental health issues that our society faces in general.
“And I think we all support the introduction of this mental health strategy which aims to transform and enhance existing services.
“It’s definitely needed and it’s long overdue.
“But words on paper aren’t going to fix these problems. Mental health needs adequate funding, it needs proper resources and it needs political will.”
Councillor Farrell continue: “I’m acutely aware of the mental health waiting lists across the Western Trust. Some have improved in the last year and some have gotten a lot worse.
“In terms of children and adolescents, this time last year there were over 300 young people waiting over nine weeks to be seen. That has halved in the last year, so that should be commended.
“In terms of Adult Mental Health, this time last year there were over 540 waiting over nine weeks to be seen, and that again has halved.
“But the figures for psychological therapies have continued to grow. We had 865 people waiting over 13 weeks to be seen last year. It is now over 50% higher at nearly 1,300 people. And the longest has been waiting over three years.”
Councillor Farrell concluded: “So the true test of this strategy is going to be – are these waiting lists going to reduce and are people across our city and district going to be seen in a timely manner.”