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Delivering A Vision for Change – Sinn Féin

6 October, 2017 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD, Pat Buckley TD, Máire Devine

Sinn Féin’s Mental Health Spokespersons today launched the party’s fully costed alternative Budget 2018 proposals setting out an additional €51.23m investment in mental health care and services. 
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, Sinn Féin All-Ireland Spokesperson for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention said:

“Sinn Féin’s alternative Budget 2018 is a budget for the people with an additional investment of €51.23m in mental health services and care.

"This additional funding would provide for increases in staff levels in line with the A Vision for Change recommendations, a move towards 24/7 crisis intervention services and increased access to primary care counselling. 

“A Vision for Change recommended two Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) teams per 100,000 head of population which would mean at least 95 based on current population figures yet currently there are just 67.

"Sinn Féin’s Budget 2018 proposals would increase the number of posts for Nurses working within general settings and A&E delivering appropriate treatment for those at risk of suicide. We would reopen the 11 CAMHS beds in Cherry Orchard Hospital closed in 2017 and increase the overall number of CAMHS beds."

Deputy Pat Buckley, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention said,

“The problem of addiction requires effective strategies designed to reduce social, community and individual harm. It is a problem that has particularly affected marginalised communities experiencing wide spread social and economic deprivation. 

“Addiction is a public health issue with drugs, alcohol and gambling addiction adversely affecting all aspects of a community’s life.

"Drug addiction has resulted in the death of thousands of people yet there has been a reduction in the expenditure and allocations directly attributable to drugs programmes.

"As a result cumulative cuts have had a negative impact on service provision. Significant investment is needed.

"Sinn Féin’s alternative budget prioritises addiction and dual diagnosis by ring-fencing an additional €12m for 2018."

Senator Máire Devine, Seanad Health and Well-being Spokesperson said:

“Early intervention through Primary Care is key to successful mental health outcomes. This is not only better for the patient who is treated in their community but is much more cost effective for the service if hospitalisation or long term care is avoided.

"Sinn Féin would triple the budget for Counselling in primary care by providing an additional €7.5m in 2018. We have also set aside €1m fund for counselling and other mental health services for people currently in Direct.

“We would also deliver additional Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Nurse positions to those who have a mental health issue or intellectual disability to ensure they receive the best care for their specific needs.

"These roles assist in early identification of developing problems, as well as advice and liaison services. This helps to avoid crises and protect the independence of the person.”

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