Radical overhaul of Ireland’s mental health system required - Mark Ward TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has agreed with the president of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland that a ‘radical overhaul’ of Ireland’s mental health system is required.
Teachta Ward was speaking after Dr William Flannery’s interview with RTÉ Morning Ireland this week.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said:
“In my time as Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health I have seen this government fail service users time and again.
“We were in a mental health crisis before the pandemic, but now we are in a mental health emergency.
“I agree with Dr Flannery’s comments, that a radical overhaul is needed, waiting lists are getting longer and service users are being harmed by this.
“A recent response to a parliamentary question that I received stated that over 13,000 people are waiting on psychology treatment.
“This is a 7% increase on the first 5 months of this year and is the highest number waiting since I was first elected.
“11,000 of those waiting are children with almost 4,000 waiting for over a year.
“We have now reached a stage where parents are using foodbanks because they have been forced to pay for private services for the children.
“This is a result of chronic underfunding, mismanagement, and neglect by government.
“Recently, I reported that the HSE has spent over €38 million in training clinical psychologists without hiring them back.
“Sinn Féin would expand this funding to include trainee educational and counselling Psychologists who are currently excluded from funding.
“Sinn Féin has also called for the reappointment of a National Director for mental health which would bring authority and accountability to our services.
“Sinn Féin has also launched a Mental Health Services Experience survey to get the real lived stories of people accessing or trying to access mental health services in this state.
“Our mental health services need a radical overhaul and so does our government, people deserve much better.”