Government ignoring mental health crisis – Cullinane
David Cullinane has criticized the Government’s lack of action on the rising rate of suicide in the State. Speaking during a Seanad debate on mental health and suicide, Senator Cullinane said:
“Government has not grasped the severity of the mental health crisis, a crisis that is affecting the most vulnerable in society.
“A Vision for Change contains many good policies around social inclusion, practice and integration, showing where Ireland could improve.
“However the Mental Health Integration Index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the first of its kind to rate countries according to how well each government supports the integration of people with mental illness into society, ranked Ireland 14 out of 30 European countries.
“However, as the Index shows, subsequent reports from independent monitoring groups set up to oversee the implementation of A Vision for Change found it was slow and inconsistent.
“The reduction of mental health funding from €937 million in 2006 to €758 in 2013 meant that currently just 5.3 per cent of the overall health spendinIreland was provided to mental health.
“This needs to return to the level recommended in A Vision for Change of eight percent.
“Mental health is very complex and it is vital that we ensure services in this area are properly funded.
“For far too many people this can be a matter of life and death.”