Calls for 24/7 mental health services to be delivered amid concerns over A&E
DUBLIN, Nov 15th.
A Lust for Life, Mental Health Reform, Future Voices and Uplift today launched a campaign calling for the delivery of holistic 24/7 community based mental health services across Ireland.
The #Inourhourofneed campaign includes a petition via: Uplift.ie which calls on Minister of State for Mental Health and Older people, Helen McEntee and the Minister for Health Simon Harris, to deliver services so that people dealing with a mental health crisis aren’t forced to go to A&E in the middle of the night or during weekends, where they often face long waits and a lack of immediate specialist care.
In particular, the experience of one young person, Peter from Future Voices was highlighted, though there are many other experiences from people of all ages.
According to Peter, aged 18:
‘When I arrived at A and E after attempting to take my own life, was sent through to a nurse and then put on a trolley. I did not know I was going to spend 19 hours on it, as no one was available to see me out of hours. After 19 hours they transferred me to an adult mental health ward in a different hospital. I did not feel comfortable there as a 16 year old. I am speaking out now, as I don’t want anyone else in Ireland to have the same experience as me, at their hour of greatest need.”
According to Mental Health Reform, the delivery of holistic 24/7 community based mental health services means ensuring specialist staff are available through 7-day-a-week direct access mental health clinics, supported by around the clock telephone support is the most efficient and effective way of responding to someone with a mental health need in the local community, and could be rolled out within two years. Providing this type of service is one reason why €35M is needed for expenditure on new developments in mental health services next year.
Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform says:
“Mental Health Reform is glad to be partnering with A Lust for Life, Uplift and Future Voices on this important initiative to highlight the public support for 24/7 mental health services. It is no longer acceptable for people in acute mental distress to end up waiting hours in a busy A&E Department when a better alternative is achievable.”
A Lust for Life’s Niall Breslin commented,:
“In the last number of years mental health awareness has increased dramatically. Discussions are being had between people and in places that were not being had before, even a few years ago. We have to recognise this progress but we all have a responsibility to recognise that we now need to start seeing action. Real, tangible and impactful action. This campaign targets a focused area with a solution based approach. This can be achieved if those with influence really want it to, and no doubt save many lives.”
The group are kicking off the campaign today with a petition via: Uplift.ie and a video of Peter sharing his troubling experience with the system as it currently stands.
For further information on the 24/7 crisis mental health services campaign, contact Ray Burke at 086 171 1920 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about Peter’s story, contact Mairead Healy, Future Voices at 01 865 6824/ 0834470784
Notes to Editors
Mental Health Reform is the national coalition promoting improved mental health services and the social inclusion of people with mental health difficulties. See www.mentalhealthreform.ie for more details.
A Lust for Life is a national wellbeing movement to transform how we talk about and treat mental health. For more information go to www.alustforlife.com
Future Voices is an award winning youth charity, which works with young people to break the intergenerational poverty cycle and empower them to create positive change for themselves and others. www.futurevoices.ie.
Uplift is a community of people taking coordinated action for progressive change in Ireland. We are a self-supporting independent organisation. We believe that when we work together towards a common goal we can create a better society. www.uplift.ie
If you need to talk to someone right now, Freecall the Samaritans at 116 123 or go to www.yourmentalhealth.ie