New Oireachtas Committee must provide action not words on mental health - Buckley
Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has said that the solution to the crisis in mental health services lies in a lack of action on well known problems and the new Oireachtas Committee must address this.
He made his comments as the Government announced plans to establish a new Oireachtas Committee on Mental Health of which Deputy Buckley will be a member.
Deputy Buckley said;
"The problems are plain and simple, years of under-funding and neglect have created shortages which have led to increasingly difficult working conditions which have exacerbated the shortages. The solution is to release the funding which everyone knows is vitally needed to increase staff and improve conditions.
"The All Party Oireachtas Working Group on Mental Health, Mental Health Reform, Sinn Féin and even the government partners Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have said this, but now is the time to put action to those words.
"Last year the government hopelessly failed those who had campaigned for better funding for mental health and it hopelessly failed those who depend on it for their care.
"It delivered a paltry additional €15 million, less than half what was recommended as a minimum. Fianna Fáil supported them in this move.
"No new report, no new initiative or policy will solve the problems. The solution is funding. You cannot do mental health on the cheap and that is exactly what has been tried for the last 10 years since Vision for Change.
"The new Oireachtas Committee is a positive step, I'm sure we will hear many fine expert witnesses and learn a lot but without action, nothing will change."