Playing Smoke And Mirrors With Mental Health

HSE Clondalkin Tallaght

Mark Ward TD and Sinn Féin spokesperson for mental health has accused the Government of using smoke and mirrors with mental health funding. Of the €37 million announced by Mary Butler in additional funding for mental health, only €24 million represents real additional funding in comparison to the additional €113 million that Sinn Féin proposed to spend.

Teachta Ward said: “The Government has only provided €24m additional for mental health, a decrease from €50 million last year. “This is woefully inadequate and shows that they are out of touch with reality and the mental health challenges ordinary people are facing. “Sinn Féin proposed €113m for urgently needed investment in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Primary Mental Health Care Services, expanding counselling to universal coverage, and investing in dual diagnosis supports.

“ In the budget the Government announced €37 million in additional funding for mental health. €24 million of this is for new development funding for mental health. This is welcome but does not go nearly far enough. “€13 million is for existing levels of service. This is funding that was already pre-committed and does not represent actual real additional funding. More smoke and mirrors tactics by the Government

“The Government are banging their drum that €1.1 billion is allocated for mental health this year. To put that in context this is almost the exact same amount of funding that was allocated in 2008. “This budget means that only 5.1% of the health budget is for mental health, when Sláintecare recommends 10% of the health budget should go to mental health services while international best practice recommends up to 16%.

“The State is in the grips of a mental health crisis. This crisis demands an emergency response and substantial, ongoing funding commitments. “This failed opportunity to significantly increase funding for mental health services shows yet again the lack of understanding by the Government  of the inadequacy of our current services or the extent of the growing demands for mental health services.

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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