Mental Health Reform extremely disappointed in shortfall in mental health budget for 2018
Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, has today expressed extreme disappointment in the Government’s allocation of additional funding for mental health services in 2018, commenting that when put in the context of the commitment for 2017 it adds up to an increase of just €11.3M.
Speaking after the Government’s announcement today, Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, said,
“The Government has announced an additional €35M for 2018, but in reality, with an overall cap on spending of €885M confirmed by Minister Daly this afternoon, this amounts to only €11.3M additional funding compared to the overall amount promised in Budget 2017. The HSE was due to start 2018 with a mental health budget of €873.7M, including the full allocation of €35M development funding from this year.”
“Ireland’s mental health services are under severe pressure and last week, RTÉ reported that they need approximately €65M just to maintain existing levels of service in the context of increased demand. We are deeply concerned that essential mental health services will not be in place for people in mental distress who need them, and that new developments including expanding access to out-of-hours mental health services will not be possible within the financial constraints set by this budget. We are asking Minister Daly to clarify the provision made within the budget to cope with underlying increased demand and demographic pressures and how new developments will be possible within the €885M allocated.”