Mental Health Reform welcomes €35M towards full implementation of mental health policy
Mental Health Reform has today welcomed the government’s decision to allocate €35M in development funding in 2017 as a positive step towards implementation of the national mental health policy A Vision for Change, while also expressing concern that delays in implementation could result in more people falling through the gaps in services.
“Mental Health Reform is pleased that politicians have recognized the need to redress decades of neglect of Ireland’s mental health services, providing some of the resources that will support a modern mental health system. The Government has heard the voices of young people and people who use mental health services and family members across the country who want to see priority given to mental health,” Mental Health Reform Director, Dr. Shari McDaid, said.
“The proof will be in the delivery. The Minister for Mental Health needs to ensure that funding allocated in 2017 is released in January and spent during the year on the services intended. We also call on the HSE to set out in their Service Plan the detail of how the announced allocation of €35M in development funding will be spent and by when. We need to see service users’ and family members’ priorities reflected in specific, time-lined actions in next year’s service plan. Most urgently, along with planning for the full set of recommendations previously made by Mental Health Reform, the HSE needs to set out how and when they will ensure a 7-day-a-week direct access mental health service is available in every catchment area with outside-of-hours specialist mental health support available by phone, so that fewer people are forced to seek crisis mental health support in busy Emergency Departments,” continued Dr. McDaid.
“We also welcome the allocation of €50M funding for the new Central Mental Hospital. This funding needs to be made available as a matter of urgency so that work can begin on a modern facility to replace the Victorian building currently housing our forensic mental health services,” concluded Dr. McDaid.