Yesterday, December 18th, the Government approved the HSE’s National Service Plan for 2020.
It appears this includes increased staff for mental health services. Mental Health Reform are currently waiting clarification from the HSE and Minister Jim Daly T.D., on how many staff will be allocated and what mental health services will receive development funding.
In the HSE’s National Service Plan 2020 there are 9,952 staff. This is still more than 20% below recommended staffing levels as set out in our national mental health policy, A Vision For Change. The increase in staff numbers from 2019 to 2020 indicates some progress being made but there remains to be some distance until we reach recommended staffing levels.
In 2019, the mental health budget was 6.15% of the overall health budget. In 2020 it will be 6.04% of the overall health budget. This show yet another successive year when mental health gets a lower proportion of the overall funding than previous years.