June 1, 2020
Online resources important but community mental health still needs major investment – Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley has criticised reports of plans to prioritise remote mental health services as part of refreshed Vision for Change strategy. He argued community mental health services had not been developed sufficiently over previous years and need major investment. 

Teachta Buckley said;

“Vision for Change, published fourteen years ago, was a bold strategy for a community model of care with recovery at its heart. While much has changed in terms of good practice, this principle remains true.

“Unfortunately due to under funding, corner cutting and failure to build new services the strategy is largely unfulfilled. 

“We remain too dependent on an inpatient, medical model of care. This is why Sinn Féin and mental health campaigners have prioritised the call for investing in primary care, community based therapeutic services. 

“We do not have a 24/7 community model yet. We do not have enough community mental health or CAMHS teams. Counselling services are oversubscribed and under resourced leaving many waiting months and months for just an assessment.

“We need to invest in remote mental health services and utilise emerging and existing technologies to improve access but this cannot come before the basic building blocks of the community model.

“Reports of a planned additional €10m a year are totally inadequate and even less than the low level of investment seen over recent years.”

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