Clare Sinn Féin Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne will host a Clare Mental Health meeting this Wednesday 6th October at 6pm
Speaking in the lead-up to Budget 2022 announcement, Violet-Anne Wynne TD has organised a local mental health discussion that will take place over Zoom on Wednesday the 6th of October. The meeting will be a chance for local people to hear from various representatives from local mental health support services.
Ms Wynne said: “Now, more than ever, we need a Budget allocation that can properly resource the mental health needs of Ireland. The State has been in the grips of a mental health crisis for a long time now, and the situation has gone from bad to worse because of Covid-19.
“Spending on mental health services has traditionally been below the EU average. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends an allocation of 14%, certain Scandinavian countries approach that figure and they have world class, almost universally accessible mental health services.
“In Ireland on the other hand, Sláintecare policy and Mental Health Reform recommend a minimum mental health budget of 10%. While in 2020 mental health services secured only 5.2% of the overall health budget. This has resulted in 2,552 children waiting for CAMHS appointments and 8,893 waiting for primary care psychology as of March this year.
“Meanwhile only 57% of the CAMHS clinical staffing levels committed to in the Vision For Change policy have been instated. It’s abundantly clear that our mental health system is outdated, understaffed and not fit for purpose.
“Especially in Clare, there is a distinct lack of services available to people who need access to crisis, primary and ongoing mental health care. In particular there is an urgent need to access to care outside of the 9-5 – at present there is no 24/7 crisis care offered at a community level.
“We all know someone who is facing difficulties with mental health and Covid-19 compounded the matter of access for a vast majority of these people. The challenge of mental health and wellbeing is one thing, but not being able to access the healthcare response needed to recover is another. No one should be denied access to mental health services.
“However, despite successive policies from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil administrations guaranteeing improvement in disastrous mental health services, many people with mental health issues are left with nowhere to turn.
“I am eager to host this much-needed discussion with Clare folk about the mental health needs of the county. It will be an opportunity for service-users to meet service-providers. I will also use the points raised in the meeting to inform a county-specific mental health strategy I am working on. Also, Sinn Féin spokesperson for mental health Deputy Mark Ward will be on the call to speak about his advocacy and the Surge Capacity motion he tabled in the Dáil earlier this year, which was passed unanimously, and how it can be used to create real change in our mental health system.
“Please email violet-anne.wynne@oireachtas,ie if you would like my office to email you the link for Wednesday’s meeting – all welcome. Alternatively, check out my Facebook page where we will share the link that evening.