Mental Health Reform today welcomed the restoration of €12M in development funding for mental health services in 2016.
Responding to the news, Dr Shari McDaid, Director, said, “We are pleased to see the Government’s decision to restore the €12M ring-fenced funding for development of mental health services in 2016, though this funding needs to translate this year into services on the ground in order to have an impact. With this decision, the new Minister for Health and Minister of State for Mental Health have shown leadership and demonstrated that they intend to lead on reform of Ireland’s mental health system.”
“We welcome the prioritisation of counselling for under 18s, homeless mental health services and perinatal mental health care, as well as the additional posts for community mental health teams. However, current mental health services are under severe strain due to under-staffing, and it will be vital that the Ministers together ensure that the staff are in place to provide services when and where they are needed,” continued Dr. McDaid.
“In the context of a €500M additional health allocation, €12M is a relatively small amount to restore to mental health. The reality is that funding for mental health services in Ireland significantly lags behind best practice in other countries, for example in the UK where mental health funding is at approximately 11 per cent of the overall health spend compared to just 6.5 per cent here. The Government needs to make a commitment to increase the proportion of the health budget allocated to mental health on an ongoing basis,” concluded Dr. McDaid.
Mental Health Reform is of the opinion that it should not have required an additional allocation to restore funding that was already due to be ring-fenced. Mental Health Reform would expect that the Minister for Health and the Minister of State for Mental Health would ensure this kind of diversion of funds is not included in next years’ service plan, so that ring-fenced funding for mental health is protected.
About Mental Health Reform
Mental Health Reform is the national coalition promoting improved mental health services and the social inclusion of people with mental health difficulties. The coalition currently has 54 members. See www.mentalhealthreform.ie for more details. Mental Health Reform acknowledges the support of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Scheme to Support National Organisations 2014-2016.
For more information please contact:
Communications and Campaigns Officer,
Mental Health Reform,
Tel: (086) 171 1920 / 01 874 9469.