June 15, 2020
PfG heavy on rhetoric light on detail to address mental health crisis – Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has expressed his disappointment with the agreed Programme for Government, describing it as “a list of platitudes and rhetoric with very little substance”.

Teachta Buckley continued;

“Mental health care has been in need for serious focus and investment for many years. The Vision for Change strategy now 14 years old is far from implemented. A refresh of this plan is now in the hands of the negotiating parties but they have failed to show any detail of how major gaps in services will be addressed.

“Fianna Fáil made a lot of noise about mental health in recent years but the evidence of their seriousness on the issue is lacking from these vague aspirations that make up the mental health section of the programme.

“We know that both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have a record of failure on mental health. The Green Party seemed to have added little to the discussion.

“There is no commitment to a multi-annual funding plan with a significant investment boost. No commitment to staffing figures and no hard commitment to improving access to services. There is also no mention of a 24/7 community service which has been called for by campaigners for many years.

“Any new government has to prioritise real mental health reform and put their money where their mouth is. This programme would indicate that the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Green plan is to shift responsibility to the HSE and the refreshED document yet unpublished. This is not good enough.”

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