Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, has today welcomed the allocation of an additional €55M to mental health for the development of new services announced in Budget 2019 yesterday, while cautioning that the funding must result in increased capacity for frontline mental health services.
Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, has said, “The Government’s commitment to €55M acknowledges the public’s prioritisation of mental healthcare as reflected in the Public Attitudes to Investment in Mental Health Services report published last week. However, records show that investment of development funding over the years has not led to the promised posts being filled. As of October of last year, just 31% of the development posts that were promised in budgets 2015-2017 were actually filled.”
Dr. McDaid continued, “We need a guarantee from Ministers Harris and Daly that all of the development funding allocated to mental health since 2012 will be realised in the equivalent value of increased capacity for the mental health services during next year, and will not be used to plug gaps in existing levels of service. It is also essential that the funding is released at the start of the year, and not half way through the year, as has been the case in the past.”