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Government must get real about supporting mental health services – Ó Caoláin

15 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Health and Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has expressed concern at the news that the mental health support organisation Grow is being forced to scale down its operations, including closing its regional office in the North East, due to inadequate State funding.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said today, "Mental health problems affect one in four of the population at some time in their lives yet services remain totally inadequate. While there has been some progress in recruiting additional health professionals this is simply filling large gaps that exist and we are a long way from the comprehensive services that are essential.

"It is totally unacceptable that inadequate HSE funding for one such support organisation, Grow, which assists people with mental health problems throughout the State is forcing it to scale down its valuable work. It is a disgrace that Grow's office in the North East region is having to close and that services to Counties Cavan and Monaghan are under threat.

"I will be urging the Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney to intervene directly and to ensure that these vital services are supported. We have had too much rhetoric and not enough action on mental health from the Government and it is time they got real about supporting mental health services." ENDS

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