New Minister must hit ground running on mental health gaps - Pat Buckley TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Pat Buckley TD has called on new Minister of State Mary Butler TD to act swiftly in addressing the many gaps in mental health services exposed by the Covid-19 crisis.
Teachta Buckley TD said;
" I wish Minister Butler good luck in her role but she has a huge amount of work to do. It will take real strength and political will to deliver the reform promised but undelivered by previous governments.
This week the Mental Health Commission published it's annual report once again highlighting problems in compliance at approved centres. Hygiene, maintenance, staffing and the protecting of patients' dignity and rights are major issues that need focus and investment.
"The previous government was good at press releases but we now need real action and investment.
"I am calling on the Minister to publish a plan for multi annual funding of increased mental health services in line with the recommendations of Vision for Change and Sharing the Vision. This means considerably more money actually being allocated than in previous years.
"I am calling for her to back and Oireachtas Committee on mental health also. This is a vital body to over see and hold to account herself, her department and the HSE but also to support her in demanding focus from cabinet on providing solutions.
Sinn Féin will not be quiet on mental health but if Minister Butler is willing to fight for investment and reform we will work with her. We cannot afford to let more time pass and more lives to be damaged by the inadequate system we have today."