Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, has today called on the Government to urgently begin planning for a surge in demand for mental health services and supports associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The call comes following increases in demand for mental health services and supports across the community and voluntary sector, which also faces funding uncertainty.
CEO of Mental Health Reform, Fiona Coyle, said, “It is clear to everyone that COVID-19 is placing a significant burden on people’s mental health and wellbeing and this will continue well into the future. The pandemic is already resulting in increased demand for mental health services and supports across the country. If the public health crisis is not to give way to a national mental health crisis, it is imperative that the Government prepare for a surge in demand for mental health services and this should be reflected in the prospective programme for government.”
Ms Coyle continued, “To support preparation and planning to protect people’s mental health in the months ahead, the Government must immediately publish the refresh of A Vision for Change, Ireland’s new national mental health policy, and appoint an implementation group for this policy, capable of developing a mental health recovery plan for the country. It is also essential that the Government commit to protecting mental health funding and invest in services so that they are quick and easy to access for people, if and when they need them”