Cross departmental approach needed to tackle mental health emergency


Mark Ward TD has called on a cross departmental approach to tackle the emergency we are facing in mental health. Speaking after the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Mental Health, Teachta Ward said: “There is not a debate in the Dail that does not mention mental health. “There is also not a decision that is made at the cabinet table that does not have an impact on people’s mental health, be that on housing, economy, education. Mental Health crosses all departments.

“It is worth noting that when positive decisions are made by cabinet in any area than that can improve the mental wellness of its citizens. “I have been calling for a Director for Mental Health to be re-appointed in the HSE. This position will increase accountability and encourage cross departmental initiatives that could improve people’s mental health. “This cross departmental approach needs to have the political will behind it to influence positive change. Senior civil servants need to buy into this approach. “Political leaders need to ensure that there is a mental health voice at the cabinet table.

“We heard at the recent meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Mental Health, calls from both Mental Health Reform and Mental Health Ireland for a cross departmental approach to mental health. “One solution put forward was to have joint funding initiatives between different departments. I can see this really working to improve people’s mental health when it comes to housing, education, and employment. “We were in a mental health crisis pre Covid , we are now in a mental health emergency and we need forward thinking measures to change this.

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Sarah Brooks

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