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Growing concerns with overburdened and under-resourced mental health services – McDonald

7 June, 2016 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin TD and All-Ireland Spokesperson on Mental Health and Suicide prevention, has outlined her growing concern in response to the announcement of industrial action by psychiatric nurses and has called on Minister Simon Harris to take immediate action.

Speaking today, Deputy McDonald said:

“I am extremely concerned that psychiatric nurses have been forced to take the decision to vote for strike action. 

“This call for strike action by those at the very coalface of our mental health services emphatically demonstrates the depth of the crisis that exists in our mental health services.  The impact of reduced resources on an already overwhelmed service is unimaginable and deeply worrying.  The clock has been ticking now for some time and it’s long overdue that Minister Simon Harris provides leadership, resources and reassurance to both nurses and the public immediately. 

“In a recent meeting between Sinn Féin and the Psychiatric Nurses Association, the nurses expressed their frustration in regard to under-staffing and inadequate resources in the mental health services.  While the current Government appear content to indulge in an overburdened and underfunded health service, this will be neither tolerated nor accepted by the citizens of this state. 

“I call on Minister Harris to address the legitimate concerns of the PNA immediately by putting in place a realistic plan to avert this growing crisis in mental health services and I will be writing directly to the Minister to ensure that this is done.” 

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