Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Funding vital in providing access to mental health services

21 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson John O'Dowd MLA has welcomed the comments by the Children's Commissioner Nigel Williams urging the British Government to put in place a strategy and funding to ensure no child or Adolescent should have to wait for appropriate access to Mental health services.

Mr O Dowd went on to say

"Mental health services are underfunded for all sections of society and it is worth noting that during the consultation on the present Budget, Professor David Bamford, chair of the Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability team, wrote an open letter to Ian Pearson the then Finance Minister specifically asking that money be ring-fenced within the 2005-2008 Priorities and Budget to allow for the recommendations of that Review to be implemented. He described how, despite the best efforts of staff, many current services are at, or near crisis point, and that the many realities with regard to mental health and learning disability services in the North "are frankly unacceptable in a civilised society".

"To date there is no tangible evidence that such money has been ring fenced which means that the vulnerable among the vulnerable, children and adolescents are no closer to receiving the services that a civilised society could and should be providing." ENDS

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