Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health Mark Ward TD has said it is incredulous that less than 10% of the overall Budget allocated last year to implement the Government’s mental health policy “Sharing the Vision”, has been spent.
A response to a Parliamentary Question submitted by Teachta Ward states that only €2.7million of the €23million announced in Budget 2021 has been released to the HSE so far.
Teachta Ward said:
“We were in a mental health crisis pre-Covid. We are now in a mental health emergency.
“Every stakeholder involved in mental health services has been crying out for additional resources to meet the demand for their service.
“It is incredulous that the Government have only released €2.7million of the €23million allocated in last year’s budget to implement the Government’s mental health policy “Sharing the Vision”.
“That is less than 10% of the overall budget to implement the short-term recommendations outlined in the plan.
“The response outlined that a further €6million expenditure is under consideration. There is a complete lack of urgency by this Government to tackle the mental health emergency we’re in.
“This underspend is on top of the news last week that the €10million additional funding for mental health, that was announced by the Government in February, also remains unspent.
“The Government must not roll this unspent money into Budget 2022 and dress it up as new money.
“There is a plan in “Sharing the Vision” to tackle the mental health emergency, but there is no political will from the Government to implement the plan.
“The fact that currently, over €20million of the €23million allocated for short-term measures to address the mental health emergency remains unspent says it all about this Government’s priorities when it comes to mental health.”