Spending on Mental Health Care should not fall victim to further cutbacks – BREEN.

October 8th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Clare Mental Health Week is an opportunity to refocus efforts on the need to increase spending on the mental health services in County Clare, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said today.

“In excess of 500 people die by suicide each year and more than 11,000 people present at Accident and Emergency Departments having attempted suicide or self-harmed and a lot more incidents go unreported.”

“A Vision for Change committed €25m in annual funding to improve access to mental health services, which included the setting up of multidisciplinary teams and in spite of Minister Harney’s commitment when she launched this Vision that “a modern high-quality mental health service for our citizens”, would be put in place, I am disappointed to note that the funding provided to the Clare Mental Health Services has actually reduced over the past three years. And of course, we still do not have a proper 24-hour access to Social Workers service in place for families in crisis.”
“It is estimated that one in four people in Ireland is affected by mental health problems at some stage of their lives and many families often feel isolated and alone when trying to cope with such difficulties.”
“Funding for mental health services Ireland as a percentage of total health funding is around 6.4% p.a., while the average among other European countries is around 12% of total health spending.”
“While economic circumstances have changed significantly in recent times, spending on mental health should not fall victim to any further cutbacks.”

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. Moloney)
by Deputy Pat Breen
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 01/07/2009

* To ask the Minister for Health and Children the progress to date in implementing the Vision for Change programme in the Clare mental health services; the position regarding the CMIT’s if these teams are fully staffed and resourced; the funding spent on Clare mental health services over the past three years; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Pat Breen T.D.

As this is a service matter the question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.