Mary Lou McDonald TD visited the MTAS Assessment and Day Treatment Centre the morning of the 12th January 2017 whilst in Cork to attend the UCC Sinn Féin society Dual Diagnosis Conference in the afternoon,  and was met by our CEO, Patrick Relihan; Chairperson, Christy Cooney and myself; Edel Foley, Clinical Manager at our Douglas centre.

It was a great opportunity to voice that three quarters of mental health difficulties arise before the age of 23 & that the ‘Vision For Change’ recommended that for best practice for treating adolescents with dual diagnosis there needs to be two adolescent multidisciplinary teams in Munster, this has not occurred. Secondly that clearer links between CAMHS and community services like MTAS be developed which appears to not be present and thirdly that waiting lists for adolescents be reduced. Present waiting lists for CAMHS stands at almost 3000 with most young people experiencing restrictive referral criteria and waiting more than 12 months to gain access. Finally we were able to highlight the wonderful work that we do complete in treating dual diagnosis and how we see young people within two weeks and offer a high standard of community support and treatment which meets all the quality standards of good practice.

This proved to be a great site visit and Mary Lou went on to announce how impressed she was with MTAS at the dual diagnosis conference in UCC. We also got media coverage following the conference because of Mary Lou’s positive feedback about her visit and she also tweeted about her visit to the Assessment and Day Treatment Centre.

We would also like to congratulate Mary Lou on her recent appointment as leader of Sinn Féin and wish her the very best in her leadership role.