Mental Health Reform urges Government to increase national mental health budget

Mental Health Reform, the national coalition for mental health, has expressed disappointment with the Government’s response to questions on mental health funding from the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Today marks the second day of Ireland’s fourth periodic review in which the Committee assessed the state’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights.

Commenting on today’s proceedings, Fiona Coyle, CEO, Mental Health Reform said: 

“The Government’s statement today on mental health funding is not a true reflection of the challenges in our mental health services. The Government has indicated that the current allocation for mental health services is €1.3bn however they have failed to acknowledge the rising cost of providing services. Given inflationary pressures, the current funding allocation represents a significant underinvestment in mental health. 

The voluntary and community sector plays a vital role in the delivery of mental health services. Since the pandemic, the demand for support has risen exponentially yet there has been little sustainable funding increase for the sector this year. Sustainable, multi-annual funding is crucial to enable the sector to continue providing essential services.

Since 2020, the percentage of the health budget allocated to mental health has decreased every year from 6% to 5%. This is less than half of what the recommended spend is internationally. The UK spends 13% – 14% of its health budget on mental health. The Government must increase spending on mental health to 10% of the total health budget in line with Sláintecare. This funding is critical to ensure Ireland has an effective and responsive mental health system that meets the needs of the population.”


Media Contact

Niamh Fahy – / 083 056 6363


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