Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, today (13/10/2015) welcomed the Government announcement of an additional €35 million for primary care and specialist mental health services in Budget 2016, and pointed out that delivery on this and prior commitments is needed urgently.
Dr Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform, said: “Today’s Budget announcement is an acknowledgement of the thousands of people across Ireland who called for continuing investment in mental health services to redress the years of neglect. The Minister’s intentions to expand the Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC) service including to children under 18 is also a positive step in improving early intervention. However, the proof will be in the delivery, and these funds need to be spent to make a real difference to mental health care in Ireland. Despite the allocation of €125 million to community-based mental health services since this Government came to power in 2011, numbers of staff have only gone up by just over 2%, or 212 posts. We are simply not seeing the promised increase in staffing, and people with mental health difficulties are feeling the impact in difficulties getting access to crisis supports and holistic therapies.”
“There are still significant shortfalls in resources for mental health services which, at just 6.5% of the health budget, are still well below the recommended level. The Government faces huge challenges with the recruitment and retention of staff, which it must tackle. Until it does, people will continue to wait too long for vital supports, putting their mental health further at risk and delaying their recovery”, Dr McDaid concluded.
For more information or to arrange an interview with Mental Health Reform Director Dr Shari McDaid please contact: Lara Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org 087 6189715
Notes to the Editor:
Mental Health Reform is a national coalition of 54 member organisations that promotes improved mental health services and social inclusion of people with mental health difficulties in Ireland. www.mentalhealthreform.ie Mental Health Reform acknowledges the support of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Scheme to Support National Organisations 2014-2016