Mental Health Reform has welcomed the commitment to community mental health in Budget 2013, including the announcement of an additional €35 million next year for the continuing development of community mental health teams and has urged the Government to fully honour this commitment in 2013.
Director of Mental Health Reform Orla Barry commented: “We welcome Minister Kathleen Lynch’s confirmation that the €35 million for 2013 is additional funding, separate to the salaries for the 414 staff for community mental health teams committed to in last year’s Budget.”
“We are happy to see this important investment in community mental health services. However, we need an assurance that the existing mental health budget is protected and that this additional €35 million will result in a net increase in mental health staffing and services in 2013. We are still concerned about the moratorium on staff recruitment and the impact of retirements, which disproportionately impacted on mental health in 2012.”
“While we were disappointed by the delay in appointing the 414 community mental health staff in 2012, the news that 270 more staff will take up their posts next week is welcome. The commitment to invest in mental health services for the areas of intellectual disability, old age and suicide prevention is also hugely important”, Ms. Barry continued.
“The promised investment represents another step in the transformation of Ireland’s mental health services. The Government clearly recognises the fact that our mental health services have been underfunded historically. Ten thousand of our supporters have sent the clear message to Government that they must not drop the ball on mental health, and we will continue to watch closely to ensure that the Government commitment is kept in 2013”, Ms. Barry concluded.