Mental Health Reform gives guarded welcome for Budget allocation for mental health services
The national coalition Mental Health Reform has given a guarded welcome to the announcement today (15/10/2013) that Budget 2014 will include an allocation of an additional €20 million for community mental health services.
Dr Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform, commented: “While we welcome the commitment to invest €20 million in 2014 in community mental health services, we had hoped to see the Government fully honour their Programme for Government commitment of €35 million for community mental health services. We are concerned that the €20 million investment will not translate into the needed staff on the ground unless the recruitment takes place in a timely fashion and departing staff can be replaced. Mental health services are continuing to lose staff through retirements and other departures, and services continue to be under pressure. Of the 477 staff promised for 2013, just 4% had completed the recruitment process as of the end of September. We are concerned that once again this year there has been a significant delay in spending the €35 million promised in Budget 2013. We want to see early agreement on the plans for spending the 2014 funds so that the same doesn’t happen again next year.”
“It is however encouraging to see the Government’s continuing commitment to developing Ireland’s community-based mental health services. This is what the 21,000 people who supported our pre-budget campaign called for: continuing investment to ensure that everyone has access to good quality mental health services,” concluded Dr McDaid.