The national coalition Mental Health Reform has today launched a public campaign calling on Government to ensure community mental health services have the funding they need to provide 24/7 crisis support across the country.
Mental Health Reform Director Shari McDaid said: “Mental health services help people to recover their mental wellbeing and get back to living a full life. Lives could be saved if mental health services were available and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But services are under-resourced and having difficulty meeting growing demand. At the end of last year, the HSE was down more than 1,000 full-time posts from March 2009 levels and staffing levels were still a quarter below the levels set in the Government’s mental health policy A Vision for Change.”
“Each community should have access to a 24/7 crisis intervention service, including home-based treatment, day hospital and crisis house support alongside access to inpatient beds, if necessary. They also need the full range of good quality, easily accessible mental health support including counselling through their GP and well-staffed multidisciplinary teams. This is government policy but we need to see investment happen so that this becomes the norm for services throughout the country”, Ms McDaid continued.
“Some parts of Ireland have very good crisis services, for example west Cork and Kildare, but these need to be available in every community. For the 40,000 people with severe mental or emotional distress who sought support last year from community-based mental health services, and for the one in seven adults who have experienced a mental health difficulty in the last year, mental health funding is vital. We are asking people to join us in showing their support for investment in mental health in the next Budget through signing our online petition and tweeting their own mental health lifesaver as #MentalHealthLifeSaver”, Ms McDaid concluded.