Spending On Mental Health Services Must be Ring-Fenced – Neville

Fine Gael Limerick TD and President of the Irish Association of Suicidology, Dan Neville, has called for the spending on mental health services to be ring-fenced in next week's Budget.

Deputy Neville was speaking at the 17th Annual Conference of the Irish Association of Suicidology, which was held in L'Derry on Thursday.

Mr Neville explained: "A modern mental health service is best delivered within the community. For the last two years, a special allocation of €35 million has been ring-fenced for mental health services. This has been primarily spent on strengthening community mental health teams, advancing activities in the area of suicide prevention, providing psychological counseling services in primary care and facilitating the transfer of mental health service users from institutional to community based care.

"It is very important that in the forthcoming budget a further €35 million is allocated to continue these necessary improvements to services, which had been neglected for so many decades.

"The theme of this year's conference is 'Building Resilience and Promoting Recovery'. The concept of recovery from mental illness is a wide subject and each individual has to find their own way and strategy for recovery.

"The recovery path is unique to each person, and can result in a journey of healing and transformation, enabling a person to live a full and meaningful life, while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

"It is important that our mental health services have a strong commitment to recovery for those suffering mental ill health. This must reflect the belief that it is possible for all those suffering from mental illness to achieve control over their lives, to recover their self-esteem and move towards a life where they experience a sense of belonging and participation."


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