New Minister of State for Mental Health must hit the ground running - Pat Buckley TD
Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has said that the newly appointed Minister of State on Mental Health has a big job to do to improve services. He was commenting on the appointment of Jim Daly TD to the role in todays cabinet reshuffle.
Deputy Buckley continued;
"I know Jim Daly to be a decent, hardworking public representative and I hope that we can work closely on some of the very important outstanding issues in reform of the mental health services. I also want to thank Helen McEntee who is leaving the role. We did not always see eye to eye but I know she cared about the issues we dealt with deeply.
“At present we are still to put the meat on the bones of planning for a 24/7 mental health services, we are well behind in addressing the failure to adequately treat mental health and addictions together and child and adolescent services are not just inadequate but under serious threat with thousands waiting for their initial assessment.
“The new Minister will have to be a fighter for the rights of people with mental health issues. He will have to be a strong voice at cabinet to ensure that the new cabinet supports real significant investment in mental health services after an extremely disappointing budget in 2016.
“The Minister must also be a strong voice against austerity and for social and community investment more broadly to support vulnerable people where they live and avoid an over reliance on inpatient care.
“I will do my best to work constructively with the Minister to that end and I ask that he ensures his office is one which is open to the voices, the experience and ideas of those who have been through the services, those who have cared for them and those who fight for their rights as advocates and campaigners.
“Doing this will be a very good step in the right direction and I look forward to discussing this with him soon."