Government failed to address mental health crisis in Budget 2020

Government failed to address mental health crisis in Budget 2020

Government failed to address mental health crisis in Budget 2020

Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, has today expressed its dissatisfaction that, according to the Minister for Mental Health, of the increase of €39M allocated for mental health announced in Budget 2020, €26M will go towards pay increases and other existing level of service issues, while €13M will go specifically towards the new national forensic mental health service in Portrane.

Reacting to this, CEO of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, said, “It is very concerning that during World Mental Health Week, the Government has failed to deliver extra services to address the mental health crisis in Budget 2020. Instead, two thirds of the increase of €39M announced yesterday will go towards pay increases and addressing existing levels of service, and not towards new developments that are desperately needed. While we do welcome the investment of €13M in Portrane, which was predictable as the new hospital will need to be staffed, this investment will do nothing help the more than 2,500 children and young people waiting for CAMHS, nor will it provide for any more rehabilitation services next year.”

Dr McDaid continued, “The coalition is also concerned to learn that the full €55M allocated for this year, in Budget 2019, has still not yet been released to the HSE. Mental Health Reform has consistently flagged that the dissolution of both the post and the Office of National Director for Mental Health in the HSE would result in the loss of national coordination and oversight of the mental health budget, this prediction has clearly come to pass.”

Dr McDaid concluded, “On behalf of our 78 member organisations, we urge the Government to revisit the inadequate allocation for mental health announced yesterday in Budget 2020 and to immediately put steps in place for the reestablishment of both the post and the Office of National Director for Mental Health in the HSE.”

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