11 October 2016
By Tom Collins
Sinn Féin Deputy Spokesperson on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Pat Buckley TD has called for the government to release a detailed and targeted plan to invest in delivering improvements to community based mental health services.
He made his comments following the release of the Budget 2017, which included no details on mental health funding or the plans for investment needed to implement A Vision for Change.
The Cork East TD said;
“I welcome that the government has followed through on its commitment to increase the mental health budget annually but there was less than 100 words dedicated to Mental Health in the budget documents released yesterday. The only details we know so far came 5 hours after the budget was launched. Minister McEntee has committed 35 million euro but given no detail.
“The €35 million figure falls a little short of what Sinn Féin, Mental Health reform and the Oireachtas Group on Mental Health reform. A further 50 million euro of capital funding for a Forensic Mental Health Service but this was already budgeted for as part of the government’s capital programme published last year.
“Vision for Change remains largely unimplemented and this will not change if we do not have clear plans for the strategy, recent RCSI/PNA research shows that much.
“It is worrying that so little detail is being supplied by this government. Last week they opposed a motion in the Dáil from myself and Deputy Mary Lou McDonald which would have placed a deadline for establishing a 24/7 crisis intervention service. This failure to put their shoulder to the wheel and deliver on promises means we must continue to push them to implement reforms.
“This new 35 million must be used to prioritise the delivery of the establishment of the 24/7 services and increased Community Mental Health Team resourcing. We must see a plan for this as soon as possible and we must have oversight to ensure implementation.”