Mental Health Reform, the national coalition promoting improved mental health services, has welcomed recent HSE commitments to strengthen the response offered by A&E departments to people in crisis and to extend mental health services to weekends. The commitment is contained in the HSE’s Mental Health Division Operational Plan for 2015.
Director of Mental Health Reform, Dr Shari McDaid, said: “For someone in mental or emotional distress, having to seek support through A&E can be stressful. This is something we hear repeatedly at our public meetings, so we welcome the HSE’s commitment to build capacity within A&E departments for a 24/7 response to people in a crisis. This will make it easier for people to get support when they need it.”
Dr McDaid continued: “We also welcome that the HSE plans to extend weekend cover for people already known to the mental health services from 11am to 7pm, Saturday and Sunday across the country. For people who are already receiving support from mental health services, a consistent relationship with their mental health team can be an important factor in their recovery. Ensuring that people are well supported in their local community will reduce unnecessary and more costly hospital stays, and will help people to recover their wellbeing.”
“It is important that both of these initiatives are funded and adequately resourced to ensure that people get timely support in their local community”, concluded Dr McDaid.