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".

"That amount will be a comparatively minuscule contribution to the overall spend on Health but it will be an enormous loss to those whose mental health is fragile," Deputy O'Sullivan said.

"Why? Because since the start of ring-fencing money for developing mental health services in 2012, under Kathleen Lynch's passionate and determined stewardship, the money has been used to fund:

• support for community organisations working on suicide prevention

• education of GP's on suicide prevention

• a primary care counselling service

• access to psychology and psychotherapy services

• extra beds for the Child and Adolescent Mental  Health Service

• clinical nurse specialists to respond to those who present with self-harm in Emergency Departments

• a national clinical programme for Eating Disorders

• Training in Behaviour Family Theraphy to members of Community Mental Health Teams.

• the roll-out of Jigsaw to Dublin (2), Cork (2) and Limerick (1) bringing this young-person friendly services to three more cities

"It is simply unacceptable that this progress in such a crucial area of the Health services, should now be halted. I am asking, to-day, for a commitment from the Minister that the money allocated for 2016 will be restored.

"€5 million of the €12 million was to be used to recruit up to 100 psychologists and councillors to develop psychological services for under 18's. Will that not be delivered? There is such an acute  need for accessible mental health services for young people that cannot be ignored.

"The signal that is being sent to troubled young people is that their needs are not important. The scant reference to Mental Health in the Programme for Government re-enforces that message.

This approach must be reversed and I urge the Minister to restore the funding and build on the progress made in this long-neglected area of our Health Services."


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.
29 April 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.