Protest today at lack of mental health services

Protest today at lack of mental health services


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016

Sinn Féin will hold a three hour protest outside Ennis Hospital today (Saturday) to further highlight the crisis in the Clare mental health service.

The protest, which will be held between 12 noon and 3pm, follows last months successful public meeting held in Ennis. Speakers at the protest include General election candidate Mike McKee, protest co-ordinator Maria Ryan and campaigner Gary Fitzgibbon.

Ennis Sinn Féin campaign co-ordinator Maria Ryan said:  “Looking at mental health priority-care services in Clare, it is clear that for too far long there has been a lack of care for people experiencing mental health difficulties and this cannot be ignored any longer.”

“It is known that 1 in 5 people experience a mental illness, and that many with serious mental illness die from treatable conditions. Yet, the Government is reluctant to make the investments necessary to provide effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental illness as it does for other health conditions.”

“These investments – personal and public – would improve care coordination and save money by preventing the use of costly crisis-care and hospitalizations, and preserve these resources for when they are truly needed.”

Maria Ryan, continued: “The health of Clare people, is at risk because there are not enough beds in the Ennis mental health acute unit to provide adequate mental health priority-care services.”

Protest co-ordinator Maria Ryan

“Government needs to take the necessary steps that would immediately improve the existing overburdened mental health system and ensure effective, high quality, coordinated, and evidence-based care for mental illnesses. They should invest in increased prevention – that reduces the tragedy of suicide, provide for early intervention, and recovery services – such as supported employment, supportive housing, and target much of these efforts for people with serious mental illnesses and their families.”

“Also, the Government should increase the numbers of mental health staff, widen the use of information technology to expand outreach and engagement, educate the public about behavior’s, and research mental illness to see what works best.”

Ms Ryan concluded: “Sinn Féin will hold a 3 hour protest outside Ennis Hospital, on Saturday 25th August, between 12noon and 3pm to further highlight the crisis in the Clare mental health service. The protest follows last months successful public meeting in Ennis. Speakers at the protest will include General Election candidate Cllr Mike McKee, myself, and campaigner Gary Fitzgibbon.”

“The Ennis Hospital protest, is to bring awareness of the effects of Government cuts to the Clare mental health budget, and to call for new thinking on the needs of local mental health suffers.”

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.