HSE Service Plan fails mental health services and those who depend on them - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mary Lou McDonald TD has criticised government underfunding of mental health services.
Teachta McDonald’s comments follow the publication of the HSE Service Plan 2017 which confirms that just €15 million would be made available in additional funding for Mental Health.
Deputy McDonald said:
“The €15 million additional funding for mental health as outlined in the HSE Service Plan 2017 falls significantly short of requirements for adequate mental health resources and services.
“So once again we are lamenting the underfunding of essential services.
“The service plan lacks detail and clarity on how its mental health objectives will be achieved or how they will be funded. Current funding allows services merely to stand still. In the New Year demand for these services will increase significantly.
“We need a detailed timeline for delivery of a seven day week in Community Mental Health Teams with a view to delivery of a 24/7 service in the longer term.
“We need increased supports for Primary Care Mental Health including greater access to counselling and the expansion of this service to people who cannot afford private care and do not have a medical card.
“There needs to be adequate staffing in mental health services.
“CAMHS staffing levels are only at half the recommended level at a time when thousands of young people wait for their first appointment with these services.
“The government has once again failed to provide detail on how meaningful reform can be implemented.
“They have failed to provide the funding to do so.
“Ten years on from the publication of the ‘Vision for Change’ government continues to fail mental health services and the citizens who rely on them."