Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has received a response from the HSE stating that they have no intention of reappointing a National Director for Mental Health in the wake of the report into South Kerry CAMHS.
This is despite calls from the Minister for Mental Health, Mary Butler, the opposition, and stakeholders for mental health, advocating for the reappointment.
Teachta Ward said:
“Its not that often that we have almost unilateral agreement between Government, Sinn Féin and other opposition parties but support for the reappointment of the National Director for Mental Health within the HSE is unanimous.
“I received a response from the HSE that stated that they have no intention to reappoint the National Director for Mental Health.
“It begs the question of who is running the show; the Government or the HSE?
“There was a National Director for Mental Health in place until 2016. This role ceased during a bureaucratic restructuring process.
“There has been no National Director for Mental Health since, despite the Programme for Government containing a commitment to reinstate the position.
“Minister Butler has recently joined Sinn Fein in calling for the reappointment of this position, but Minister Donnelly as the Senior Minister for Health has been silent.
“There has been a lack of urgency and political will to fill the role.
“The National Director for Mental Health should have the authority but, more importantly, be accountable for overall governance for mental health within the HSE. They would also report directly to the Director General of the HSE and the Minister.
“I have been calling for this reappointment to happen from the moment I became Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on Mental Health.”