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Serious gaps in mental health services in Cavan-Monaghan and across the state must be addressed – Pauline Tully TD

12 October, 2020 - by Pauline Tully TD

Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Pauline Tully, has called on the Minister of State Mary Butler TD to act swiftly in addressing the many gaps in mental health services.

Teachta Tully TD said;

"Minister of State Mary Butler needs to deliver the reform promised but undelivered by previous governments.

“There is a very serious problem in accessing mental health services in the Cavan-Monaghan, which seems to be the case right across the state.

“We have witnessed the tragedy of three suicides in my locality in the past month alone as well as several attempted suicides.

“There needs to have an interagency response to these tragedies, there is no one agency or one answer that can solve this issue.

“However, in the short-term, group therapy should be made available in the immediate aftermath of these tragic events, for the family, friends and peers of the victims.

“The Mental Health Commission in its most recent annual report found that in terms of community mental health services there was ‘an almost total absence’.

“They also found that in spite of gaps being identified by the 2006 strategy ‘A Vision for Change’, these supports have not to date been provided.

“My party colleague and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD introduced “The Mental Health Parity of Esteem Bill” to the Dáil last week.

“The bill seeks to place mental health on parity with physical health, improve provision of mental health services and increase the quality of care for those in mental health services.

“It successfully passed the first stage and now moves to the committee stage.

“I hope the other parties, especially those in Government, take this opportunity to overhaul our failing mental health services. 

“Sinn Féin also introduced our Alternative Budget last Friday.

“In it we spelt out the different focus Sinn Féin would bring to Mental Health Services, such as the introduction of universal free counselling on GP referral and an increase in investment in 24/7 crisis intervention services. 

“In the budget this week, the government has an opportunity and a responsibility to address the underfunding of mental health services.

“Budget 2021 must move towards parity of esteem for mental health provision."

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