Press Release

Minister O’Malley announces additional €25 million funding for mental health services

Mr Tim O’Malley T.D. Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children today (7th December, 2006) today announced details of the expansion of mental health services funded in Budget 2007.

Additional funding amounting to €25m is being provided for the ongoing implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’.

Mr O’Malley said, ‘I am totally committed to ensuring that every aspect of ‘A Vision for Change’ is implemented, and to working with every health professional involved to deliver the improved, modern services for people of all ages with mental health difficulties’.

‘A significant amount of this funding – € 7.95m – is for the development of our child and adolescent psychiatric services. This is in addition to the €3.25m provided in 2006 for the enhancement of the service. I believe we can be optimistic for the development of child psychiatric services in our country.’

‘The additional funding will bring about significant improvements in community, hospital-based and early intervention services. Existing multidisciplinary teams will be enhanced and eight new child and adolescent mental health teams developed.

‘The additional €25m funding is part of the ongoing funding of “A Vision for Change “ which commenced in 2006. It is proof positive of the priority that this Government attaches to the area of mental health and of our absolute determination to develop and put in place a modern, high quality mental health service for our citizens’, said the Minister.

Mental Health Services

Summary

Additional funding amounting to €25 million is being provided for the ongoing implementation of A Vision for Change. The key elements are:

Child and Adolescent Mental Health (€7.95m)

This funding will significantly improve both community and hospital-based services for this client group and will facilitate the provision of early intervention services. Additional funding will enhance the multidisciplinary nature of existing child and adolescent mental health teams and provide for the development of eight new teams in 2007. Twenty-four additional beds for the treatment of children and adolescents will also be developed.

These initiatives will be of particular importance to the effective implementation of the Mental Health Act 2001. The key elements relating to involuntary detention of persons with a mental disorder were commenced on 1 November 2006.

National Forensic Mental Health Service (€2.0m)

The standard of care and treatment will be improved and additional places will be provided within the Central Mental Hospital to enable the National Forensic Mental Health Service to address the implications of the Criminal Law Insanity Act 2006 and the Mental Health Act 2001. This development will also include residential places in the community.

National Office for Suicide Prevention (€1.85m)

In line with Reach Out, the national strategy for action on prevention of suicide, €1.85m is being allocated to develop and implement national training programmes and to complete the availability of self-harm services through A&E Departments. The funding will also be used to implement a national positive mental health awareness programme through the National Office for Suicide Prevention.

Eating Disorders Services (€0.75m)

There is a growing recognition of the problem of eating disorders, especially in the younger population. In line with A Vision for Change, existing services will be reconfigured and additional services will be commissioned from agencies.

Other (€12.45m)

A range of other services will be developed to extend the availability of key services and to support the implementation of the Mental Health Act 2001. The initiatives include:

  • €3m to improve specialist mental health services for the older people, the homeless and people with an intellectual disability;
  • €3.1m for the second medical opinions and authorised officers required under the Mental Health Act, and to develop further the service of assisted admissions under the Act;
  • €1.5 to support mental health promotion, advocacy and voluntary organisations;
  • €1.1m to support professional development and training;
  • €3.75m for a range of other initiatives including adult victims of past abuse, a liaison mental health service in acute hospitals, a national counselling service and a national service user council.