Press Release

Minister Moloney welcomes special consideration given to disability and mental health in Budget 2011

Mr John Moloney, TD, Minister of State for Disability and Mental Health today welcomed the special consideration given to disability and mental health in Budget 2011, through a maximum reduction of just 1.8% in the allocation for the two sectors. The relatively lower reduction, compared to other areas of the health budget, recognises that these services are provided to vulnerable groups. The Minister of State also acknowledged the strong contribution and commitment of service providers in the disability sector, and asked that they would work closely with the HSE throughout 2011 to ensure the maximum delivery of services in an efficient and effective manner, with priority being given to those in greatest need.

The Minister of State also welcomed the additional €10 million funding being provided to the HSE for disability in 2011. This is to meet anticipated extra demand in respect of emergency residential, respite and personal assistant/home support hours for people with disabilities, and day places for school leavers in September 2011. Taking the reduction in the overall HSE Disability budget into account, the HSE will manage the additional resources to ensure that existing support needs, and demands for additional places and supports, are managed effectively within the overall allocation.

The Minister of State also welcomed the additional €1m which has been provided in this years budget for suicide prevention. This funding will enable the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) to build on initiatives to date and bring added momentum and new impetus to their activities to address the increasing incidence of suicide. The following areas will be targeted:

  • develop the number and range of training and awareness programmes;
  • improve and standardise the response to deliberate self harm;
  • develop the capacity of primary care to respond to suicidal behaviour and consider new models of response;
  • ensure that helpline supports for those in emotional distress are coordinated and widely publicised.