The government has acknowledged there are longstanding issues and gaps within Tasmania's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services after a leaked draft report has highlighted the system's shortcomings.
The draft report, CAMHS Review dated August 2020, was released to stakeholders for consultation on August 27 and obtained by The Examiner.
It found CAMHS struggled to meet the burden of demand with the funding available and stakeholders had stopped referring complex cases to CAMHS because the service was unable to assist them.
Children with autism spectrum disorder or developmental disorders alone were not generally accepted by CAMHS nor were children who had experienced sexual assault and abuse, the report said.
It found the service's three sites all had little access to child and adolescent psychiatry time, limited access to speech and occupational therapy, and currently the North-West team had no clinical psychologist.
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Mental Health and Wellbeing Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the government embraced the opportunity to reform the mental health sector which was why it had commissioned the review into CAMHS last year.
"The review represents an important opportunity to improve recovery outcomes for children and adolescents living with mental health challenges," Mr Rockliff said.
"The important thing about these reports is that they are warts and all.
"There are areas we can improve and we embarked on the review because we recognise we do need the best possible mental health services across Tasmania."
But Labor health spokeswoman Sarah Lovell said the report painted a damning picture of chronic under-funding and systematic failure.
"This report confirms what we have long known - that the approach to service delivery in CAMHS is deeply flawed," Ms Lovell said.
"The report points to tension between CAMHS and external stakeholders.
"This includes a belief among stakeholders that CAMHS operates by using exclusion instead of inclusion criteria and are more willing to state which cases they will not see rather than those they will, which in turn leads to CAMHS clinicians and staff feeling undervalued and frustrated by their inability to help young people who desperately need it."
Ms Lovell said investment in primary care and prevention was needed to ensure young people did not end up needing to access crisis care.