Mental Health Budget 2021

Mental Health Reform along with our 75 member organisations call on the Government to invest
additional funding of €80M in our mental health services in Budget 2021.

This includes:

  • €30M to maintain existing levels of services (ELS); and
  • €50M to be used exclusively for developing our services
    to deal with the new challenges faced.

Of the €50M development funding, €10M is needed to commence the short-term recommendations of the Government’s new national mental health policy, Sharing the Vision.

We have teamed up with Uplift for a simple and easy way to let your TD’s and Representatives know why mental health must be a priority in Budget 2021.

I
t takes less than 2 minutes and can make a big difference!

The impact of COVID-19 has had a significant effect on people’s mental health and has emphasised the serious gaps that exist across our mental health system.

Thousands more people are now coming forward to access supports during this difficult time.

But our mental health system was already under serious pressure before this pandemic, meaning services are now stretched further than ever.

The United Nations (UN) has warned that COVID-19 risks sparking a major global mental health crisis and has reported higher-than-usual levels of symptoms of depression and anxiety across various countries.

This year is also particularly significant for mental health because the Government has published a new national mental health policy, Sharing the Vision. The sets out an ambitious policy for the future of our mental health system.

If the Government are serious about the success of this policy, significant investment is needed to provide the best possible start.

This investment must recognise that Sharing the Vision comes at a time when mental health services are already far behind where they should be.

What do Government need to invest in?

Increase staffing levels across mental health services

Develop out-of-hours crisis mental health services to give people quick and easy access to the support they need

Invest in primary care mental health and talk therapies to prevent and intervene early in mental health difficulties

Support people to navigate the system and vindicate their rights by hiring mental health advocates

Support the C&V sector to continue providing essential mental health services

Invest in the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach to help people with mental health difficulties get back to work

Ensure people with mental health difficulties can access and maintain affordable housing

Substantially improve mental health services in the prison system

Why invest in mental health?

THE NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET HAS REMAINED AT APPROX 6% OF THE OVERALL HEALTH BUDGET FOR MANY YEARS.

A Vision For Change recommended 8% by 2016. Sláintcare recommends 10%. The UK spend nearly 13% of their health budget on Mental Health.

ALMOST 2,000 CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ON WAITING LISTS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES (CAMHS).

IN JANUARY 2020, THERE WERE 10,642 INDIVIDUALS ON A WAITING LIST FOR A PRIMARY CARE PSYCHOLOGY APPOINTMENT.

33% (or 3,572 people) were waiting more than a year to be seen.

THERE ARE FEWER STAFF WORKING IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TODAY THAN THERE WERE IN 2008.

These shortages in staffing levels can result in long waiting lists to access services, the absence of particular therapies/supports, and adverse effects on quality of service and continuity of care.

JUST 78% OF THE MENTAL HEALTH STAFF REQUIRED ARE IN POST, IN LINE WITH A VISION FOR CHANGE RECOMMENDATIONS.

The HSE has estimated that an additional €177M is required simply to achieve these staffing requirements. This figure does not include staffing mental health proffesionals required within the primary care, community and voluntary sectors.

THE MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET IS ONLY NOW APPROACHING PRE-RECESSION LEVELS.

Despite significant increases in demand, including a 40% increase in referrals to CAMHS between 2011 and 2019. In 2020, it was €1.03B. Following the recession, it fell as low as €708M in 2011.

GET INVOLVED TODAY FOR BETTER MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES!

  • Spread the word with your social media network (links below)
  • Contact your local TD using Uplift
  • Join in the conversation using #MentalHealthBudget

Media Coverage:

  • “Mental health services need extra €80M to cope with COVID-19 pressures” in Irish Medical Times
  • “MHR says investment of at least €30M in services required” on Kfm
  • “€30M needed to maintain current mental health services, providers warn” in BreakingNews.ie
  • “Decision Support Service must be funded” in the Irish Times 
  • “Tipperary TD to seek extra Budget funding for mental health services” in Tipperary Live
  • “Donegal TD calls for major funding injection into mental health services” on Highland Radio
  • “Calls for increased funding for Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services” on News Group

#MentalHealthBudget

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