Mental Health Reform urge Government to fulfil commitment to invest at least €55m in Budget 2018 - Mental Health Reform

August 23rd, 2017

Launching its pre-budget submission today, Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, has called on the Government to fulfil its commitment to invest at least €55m in development funding for mental health services in Budget 2018. Speaking on behalf of its 60 member organisations, Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, said,

“We know that demand for mental health services in Ireland is increasing and the figures really speak for themselves. Between 2014 and 2016 the number of referrals for the Counselling in Primary Care Service has increased by 30 per cent. As of July 2017, the waiting list for child and adolescent mental health services was 2,419, with 218 having waited for more than a year. As of March 2017, mental health services are at just 80 per cent of the staffing levels recommended in the national policy, A Vision for Change. This situation is simply not sustainable. If the Government is serious about addressing the crisis in mental health services, it must meet its commitment of a minimum increase of €55m in Budget 2018 and increase the proportion of the health budget spent on mental health.”

Dr. McDaid continued, “We hear of people having serious difficulty accessing mental health services when they need them, and especially outside of office hours and on weekends. This has gone on far too long. Ireland needs 24/7 crisis mental health services in every community across the country, so that people can get the help they need when they need it. The Government needs to step up to its responsibility to provide the resources for these services to be rolled out.”

Dr. McDaid concluded, “2017 was the first year in recent times that mental health spend reduced as a proportion of the overall health budget, to just 6%, which led to some people questioning the Government’s commitment on mental health. This Government needs to show that it values the mental health of people in Ireland by providing the adequate staffing to deliver needed services and increasing the proportion of the health budget spent on mental health towards the 10% recommended by the Committee on the Future Vision of Healthcare.”


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