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Lack of action on housing impacting people’s mental health – Cullinane

29 March, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane has called on the government to acknowledge the impact of the housing crisis on people’s mental health and to take serious measures to address it. Speaking in response to the findings from the suicide prevention charity Console that an increasing number of people in mortgage and rent arrears are experiencing anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, Deputy Cullinane said:

“The housing crisis is having a detrimental impact on people’s sense of self and on their overall wellbeing.

“A home or a place to call home is basic requirement for human existence. Expecting people to live in very unstable environments and in fear that they may not have a roof over their head is bad public policy.

“In any modern society, the availability of housing for everyone is a basic requirement. The failure of the state to actively intervene to ensure this is the case is just not acceptable.

“Fine Gael and Labour were in power for the past five years, and under their watch, the housing crisis worsened with the result that we now have an emergency on our hands. While the previous Fianna Fáil administration took negative decisions that began a downward trend in social housing builds, the policies pursued by the Fine Gael led coalition worsened an already bad situation.

“In light of this, is it any wonder that people are at their wits-end and unable to sleep at night and having panic attacks.

“We should be concerned about the impact the crisis is having on people’s mental health and on the well-being of children who have lost their homes, and are living in hotels.

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael must take responsibility for this fiasco. The onus is on them to stop dallying about and to form a government and deal with this issue as a matter of national priority.

“Peoples mental health and their very lives are on the line.” 

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