January 21, 2021
Dual Diagnosis: No Wrong Door Bill can plug gaps between mental health and addiction services – Mark Ward TD and Thomas Gould TD

Thomas Gould TD and Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health Mark Ward TD and spokesperson for Addiction Thomas Gould TD will today introduce the Dual Diagnosis: No Wrong Door Bill 2021.

Dual Diagnosis refers to people who present for treatment who have substance misuse and mental health conditions.

Teachta Ward said:

“The Dual Diagnosis: No Wrong Door Bill is an important piece of legislation that aims to plug the gaps in services that exist between mental health and addiction.

“People who have a Dual Diagnosis often fall between these gaps. Addiction and mental health often go hand in hand.

“An addiction may lead to the onset of mental health issues or a mental health issue can lead to people using substances as a coping mechanism.

“Because of the inadequacies in the state’s mental health system, people can turn to drink and drugs to give calm to an anxious inner world.

“This is where problems can occur. The mental health problems remain, but are added to by addiction problems.

“This bill will mean that no matter what door the person knocks on for help for addiction and mental health problems, that they are treated with dignity.

“A joint care plan between addiction and mental health services needs to be developed to make sure people get the care they need, when they need it and where they need it.

“There can be No Wrong Door for dual diagnosis treatment.”

Teachta Gould said:

“I have been meeting addiction services on the ground for months now and this is an issue raised by almost every single one.

“When somebody in active addiction with mental health issues reaches out for help, no door should be shut in their face.

“Compassion, empathy and understanding are at the core of many of our addiction services. Unfortunately, they are not resourced or supported to deal with dual diagnosis.

“This legislation will progress the provision of dual diagnosis services across the state, which would have a knock-on effect for individualised case management plans.

“We need to recognise that addiction is not a stand-alone issue. Wraparound supports and services are the only way to properly help people succeed in their recovery.”

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