Government playing smoke and mirrors with Mental Health - Mark Ward TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has accused the Government of using "smoke and mirrors" with Mental Health funding.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said that of the €37 million announced by Minister Mary Butler in additional funding for mental health, only €24 million represents real additional funding.
This is in comparison to the additional €113 million that Sinn Féin committed to spend in our Alternative Budget.
Teachta Ward said:
“The Government has provided just €24m additional funding for mental health in Budget 2022. This is a decrease from €50 million last year.
“This is woefully inadequate and shows they are out of touch with reality. They have not recognised the mental health challenges ordinary people are facing.
“In our Alternative Budget 2022, Sinn Féin proposed €113m for urgently needed investment in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Primary Mental Health Care Services, expanding counselling to universal coverage, and investing in dual diagnosis supports.
“The Government has announced €37 million in additional funding for mental health. €24 million of this is for new development funding for mental health. This is welcome but does not go nearly far enough.
“€13 million is for existing levels of service. This is funding that was already pre-committed and does not represent actual real additional funding. This is more smoke and mirrors tactics by the Government
“The Government is banging their drum that €1.1 billion is allocated for Mental Health this year. To put that in context, this is almost the exact same amount of funding that was allocated in 2008.
“Yesterday’s Budget means that only 5.1% of the health budget is for mental health, when Sláintecare recommends 10% of the health budget should go to mental health services, and international best practice recommends up to 16%.
“The State is in the grips of a mental health crisis. This crisis demands an emergency response and substantial, ongoing funding commitments.
“This is a failed opportunity to significantly increase funding for mental health services. It shows yet again the lack of understanding by the Government of the inadequacy of our current services, or the extent of the growing demands for mental health services."