Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, was today (08/10/2015) joined by representatives of its 54 member organisations to deliver thousands of petition signatures to Minister of State for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch TD, calling for increased investment in mental health and related social services in Budget 2016. The petition is part of the coalition’s Invest in my mental health campaign, which saw over 6,500 people sign up and which included local visits to TD clinics across the country.
Mental Health Reform Director Dr Shari McDaid spoke at the petition handover: “Once again, people across Ireland have shown their support for mental health care. One in seven adults will have experienced a mental health difficulty in the past year. It’s clear that mental health is an issue that matters to people. The Government now has the opportunity to show that they understand the importance of good mental health to Ireland’s recovery.”
Dr McDaid continued: “We call on the Government to invest an additional €35 million in primary care and specialist mental health services in 2016. Mental health staffing is still 22% below the recommended level. In May 2015, there were 383 children or adolescents waiting more than 12 months for a first appointment. Many services are struggling, unable to meet the need. When people reach out for help, it’s vital that there are good quality mental health services and supports that are easily accessible to people in their local area, to aid their recovery.”
“This year, hundreds of people have told Mental Health Reform about their experiences of mental health services, giving us a very mixed picture of the support available. People have said that sitting in A&E when they’re feeling suicidal is frightening, that having to wait months for therapy doesn’t help, that they want to work and live a full life in their community. With this Budget, the Government can leave a lasting legacy for mental health services, if they choose to listen to thousands of people who have called for mental health to be a priority,” Dr McDaid concluded.
For more information or to arrange an interview with Mental Health Reform Director Dr Shari McDaid please contact: Lara Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org 087 6189715
Notes to the Editor:
Mental Health Reform is a national coalition of 54 member organisations that promotes improved mental health services and social inclusion of people with mental health difficulties in Ireland. www.mentalhealthreform.ie Mental Health Reform acknowledges the support of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Scheme to Support National Organisations 2014-2016.
The national free phone number for people seeking mental health support is 116 123 and is operated by the Samaritans.
The petition handover was attended by the following Mental Health Reform member organisations:
- De Paul Ireland
- Exchange House
- Gateway Mental Health Association
- GLEN – Gay and Lesbian Equality Network
- HAIL Housing
- Inclusion Ireland
- Irish Association for Social Workers
- Irish Association for Speech and Language Therapists
- Irish Council for Psychotherapy
- Irish National Council of ADHD Support Groups
- Irish Penal Reform Trust
- Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists
- St John of Gods Hospital
- Suicide or Survive
Mental Health Reform’s full pre-budget submission is available here: https://mentalhealthreform.ie/mhr-pre-budget-2016-submission/