Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid West, Mark Ward has called on the government to meet with Pieta House to address their funding shortfall, which has led to pay cuts and redundancies in the mental health service.
Lucan in Dublin Mid West is the location of the very first Pieta House in Ireland and Ward is concerned for the impact that cuts to services will have on constituents seeking mental health services, particularly those dealing with the added strain of the COVID-19 crisis.
Speaking today, Deputy Ward said: “Pieta House provides essential mental health services across the State, in many cases in areas and communities which lack adequate public services or resources.
“Sinn Féin have long made the point that mental health services should not be dependent on charitable donations, but rather that the government should have the responsibility to see that these services are protected.
“In my own area in Dublin Mid West, we are lucky to have Pieta House on our doorstep in Lucan, In fact Lucan was the first location that Pieta House started off from. I have know numerous people over the years who have been helped by Pieta House.
“The COVID-19 crisis has put great strain on the mental health of many communities and the services they depend on. It has also made it very difficult for charities which provide mental health supports to raise their needed funding beyond what they receive from the public purse.
“Many people working in our frontline services are being exposed to traumatic and stressful situations and require mental health support at this difficult time.
“I am calling on the government to address issue directly and work with Pieta House to resolve the funding problem.
“Workers with expertise in mental health provision should not be out of work at any time, but especially during a pandemic. If necessary, staff should be made part of the public system and be able to continue their work in that way.
“Pieta House does excellent work filling the gap created by years of government neglect of mental health services. In this difficult time, the government must act to ensure these services are not lost.”