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Commission report outlines governments neglect of Mental Health - Pat Buckley TD

25 July, 2018 - by Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has slammed the governments record on mental health services in the wake of a devastating report from the Mental Health Commission.

The report which was published today, describes the system as "unsafe and substandard".

It details a litany of failures in the system and the inadequate response of the government for many years in tackling these issues which put patients at risk.

Deputy Buckley said;

"This report is the latest in a long line of expert analysis of the mental health services which have found them to be below what is adequate to meet the needs of the people who rely on it.

"The Mental Health Commission releases a report every year and the findings in this years edition while an utter indictment of the governments failures, are nothing new to those who have been following their work, advocating for change or engaging with the services.

"Yet again we see in 2017 the continuation of the intolerable admission of children and adolescents into adult mental health units due to a mix of staff and bed shortages.

"82 young people were forced to spend at least one night in an adult ward while at their most vulnerable. In some cases the children did not even have a bed for the night.

"The HSE in their statement play this down comparing it to decade old figures but this is a marked increase on last year and it is clearly due to inadequacies in the system.

"Outpatient CAMHS services are understaffed, waiting lists for assessments and psychological services are up and over a year and early intervention is being neglected.

"We should be striving to avoid the need for young people to be admitted to wards in any case never mind simply to provide them an age appropriate environment.

"This report is even more damning in the wake of considerable effort by Sinn Féin, Mental Health Reform and the Sláintecare and Mental Health Committees to highlight the problems in our system and the very real solutions available to the government.

"The Commission reports that progress on needed reform has been slow or non-existent in many parts of country. This cannot be allowed to continue.

"The government must get real on prioritising not just investment in mental health but in driving the reforms promised for over a decade."

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