Mental health funds must be ring-fenced in Budget 2014 – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and co-convener of the Oireachtas All-Party Mental Health Group, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has urged that at least an additional €35 million be ring-fenced in Budget 2014 for mental health and that it be spent solely on that sector and in a timely manner.
In a statement marking World Mental Health Day, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“The best way to mark World Mental Health Day would be for the government to firmly commit to allocate at least €35 million, over and above the main annual allocation to mental health services, in Budget 2014. Crucially, this money must be ring-fenced and spent in a timely manner.
“In 2012 the extra €35 million supposedly allocated to mental health was not ring-fenced and much of it was spent elsewhere. There must not be a repetition of that in 2014. Any additional monies remaining from the 2013 allocation must be added to the 2014 mental health budget.
“It is very important that this ring-fenced funding is used for the housing and employment needs of people with mental health issues, in practical implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’.
“This call has been made by the Oireachtas All-Party Mental Health Group and it is timely to reaffirm it on World Mental Health Day.”