October 8, 2019
Pitiful mental health funding is an insult to those in need – Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Fein Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has condemned the government for once more attempting to mislead the Dáil on budget day in regards to their mental health allocation.

Teachta Buckley was responding to the announcement by government that they would be providing an additional 39 million euro to mental health services.

In reality, only 14 million euro of new money is being provided as the government withheld 25 million euro announced in last years budget.

Deputy Buckley said;

“Every year since 2016, old money is being re-announced as new money all for the purpose of a good press release and to pretend the government is serious about mental health.

“It is obviously not and it insults the patients, the families, the campaigners by trying to fool them.

“In 2018 the government announced 55 million additional money for the following year. The reality though was that in every budget since 2016, money has been promised and either partially undelivered or partially staggered to be spent in the next year.

“This is done cynically to look good while actually spending very little in a service badly under funded.

“The government withheld 25 million euro of the money announced for 2019, and now it has repackaged that money as a new investment totalling 39 million. The truth is just 14 million euro will actually be new money.

“The government has proven itself time and again to be untrustworthy on mental health spending, they have sought to mislead and to cover up this abuse of trust. The cost cannot be calculated but the pain and suffering caused by the underfunding and neglect of our services is plain to see in every community across the state.”

ENDS
 
Additional Note:

In 2018 the government announced 55 million additional money for the following year. The reality though was that in every budget since 2016, money has been promised and either partially undelivered or partially staggered to be spent in the next year. This is done cynically to look good while actually spending very little in a service badly under funded.

While total mental health spend has increased considerably in recent years most of this money has been swallowed up in pre-existing services trying to meet large increases in demand.

This has not yielded good results with waiting lists growing steadily. Young people are languishing on CAMHS lists for up to 18 months, adults are being turned away from A&E because there is no bed for them in crisis and counselling services are hopelessly inadequate to meet demand.

The government withheld 25 million euro of the money announced for 2019, and now it has repackaged that money as a new investment totalling 39 million. The truth is just 14 million euro will actually be new money.

While much of this behaviour is down to stunt politics from a government more interested in press releases than improving mental health. Some of the problem is also due to the governments abject failure to address recruitment and retention issues which has made the development of new services in many areas impossible.

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