Sinn Féin Condemns Decision To Cut Mental Health Budget

A decision by the government to remove €12 million from the mental health budget has been condemned by Sinn Féin's TD, Dessie Ellis.

Speaking ahead of a protest held on Thursday, Deputy Ellis said: "People suffering with mental health issues are strong, they deal with great pressures every day but they need our support to survive and recover. They need the support of their family, their communities but most of all they need the support of mental health services funded by the state.

"The Minister has said that the move to reallocate €12 million of the mental health budget this year is not a 'raid'. It is an attack on the services that so many vulnerable people depend on. It is the most pathetic and undignified decision by this department in recent memory.

"Mental health services have been underfunded for decades. Those who work in mental health have been left to scramble and to scrimp in order to maintain the essential services they have provide. Cuts to mental health services like this, undermine that good work. It attacks the morale of these workers and it tells those who need support that they do not matter.

"The last thing a person struggling with mental health issues needs is to be told they do not matter to the country they live in, that their lives are less important. That is what this cut does.

Deputy Ellies said that the budget cut "must not go ahead" and that mental health services needed further investment to improve services.

"We have a crisis in mental health exacerbated by austerity - more austerity will do untold damage. We have done good work to plan a reform of mental health, workers in the sector have done their best to implement it and those who depend on these services have adapted to these changes. It is time for the department to play its part by providing the funding needed," Deputy Ellis added.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

29 November 2019
New Dedicated Mental Health Phone Line Launched
A new dedicated phone line for mental health has been launched by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris, and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly.
10 October 2022
Swann Announces New Regional Mental Health Service
Health Minister Robin Swann has announced new Regional Mental Health Service in Northern Ireland – one of the key enabling actions contained within the Mental Health Strategy published in June 2021.
11 October 2013
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.
25 May 2016
Mental Health Funding Must Be Repaid - Labour
Funding taken from the mental health budget must be paid back, Labour TD Jan O'Sullivan has said. Deputy O'Sullivan made the call while speaking in a Dáil debate on mental health, where she said that €12m taken from the mental health budget this year, could not be allowed to fall into "the black hole of the general Health budget".
25 August 2015
Govt Called To Provide Additional Funding For Mental Health Services
The Mental Health Reform is calling on the Government to provide a minimum of €35 million additional funding for mental health services. Mental health activists from across Dublin have joined Mental Health Reform at Leinster House to launch a campaign for mental health funding in Budget 2016.