26 May 2016
By Tom Collins
Sinn Féin TD in Cork South Central, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has called on the Government to consider allowing the public to claim Tax back for money spent on Counselling Services, psychiatry and other treatments to assist mental health.
“In the same way that we should aim not only to deal with physical illness, but to promote physical health promotion, whether that’s exercise or good food in our schools, we should aim to promote good mental health.”
“The public must have greater access to Counselling and Psychiatrists through the public service, not to have to wait perhaps a year for treatment, as a constituent of mine has recently informed me he is waiting, despite knowing from a private practitioner exactly what treatment he requires.”
“Properly funded public treatment, to ensure proper support for and to tackle mental health conditions, is ultimately the answer, however, in the interim, we should find other ways of encouraging people to look after their Mental Health.”
“Tax can be claimed back for a whole variety of procedures and treatments, from dentistry to laser eye surgery. Why not for Counselling or psychiatric treatment, or for any of the many treatments that may be assist in safeguarding good mental health.
This is not as the ideal, but as an interim measure, and I emphasise interim, ultimately these treatments should be provided through the public system, and in that context the recent cut of €12m to the Mental Health Budget is particularly disappointing and damaging.”
“However this can be undertaken quickly, and at limited cost, and in the context of significant demand and need, should be considered.”