Mental Health Reform submitted the Pre- Budget 2020 recommendations to the Government.
The Pre-Budget Submission 2020 summary below outlines the recommendations made by Mental Health Reform to the Government for mental health services and supports.
The Government must invest in mental health for Budget 2020.
Read the full Pre-Budget 2020 submission here.
The Government needs to address the existing service needs and invest in new services to improve mental healthcare. The Government need to do this if they are to meet their commitments under A Vision for Change, Sláintecare and the Confidence and Supply Arrangement with Fianna Fáil.
Despite modest Government investment in mental health services in recent years, we have seen very little improvement in waiting lists for mental health services.
There are just 68 more staff in the mental health services today than there were in 2009, yet demand has significantly increased. Over 8,000 people are currently waiting for a first appointment with a psychologist in their community.
The cost of unmet mental health need will not only be seen in the mental health sector but will be felt across all sections of public services including income benefits, education, physical health, housing, the criminal justice and so on. Increasing spending on mental health services is not a cost, it is an investment.
A step change in investment is needed if our mental health system is to finally catch up with the rest of the health service.
Last year, Mental Health Reform called on the Government to invest an additional €105M in mental health services and supports.
This would provide €55M to be invested into new service developments for mental health and €50M to existing service needs.
Recommended spend of €105M investment
- Building staff levels to ensure all service users have timely access to mental healthcare
- Develop 7 days a week, community based, crisis mental health services for children and adolescents
- Increase capacity in the Counselling in Primary Care service
- Invest in primary care psychology services
- Increase the capacity of national advocacy services for children, adolescents and adults in hospital and in the community