Statement by Minister Kathleen Lynch, TD on Mental Health priorities in 2016
Speaking during Statements in the Dáil (Thursday 19th November), Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister for Primary Care, Social Care and Mental Health outlined her priorities for mental health in 2016.
The Minister said “I am very pleased to have secured a further additional €35 million for mental health for 2016. This means that, during the lifetime of this Government, we will have provided a total of €160 million ring-fenced funding for mental health up to the end of 2016, to develop and enhance our mental health services. To date, the focus has been on additional posts to strengthen Community Mental Health Teams for both adults and children and enhancing specialist community mental health services.
Primary Care has an important role in providing early intervention services. A well- structured, well -resourced service at primary care level will provide an early intervention service for people who have mild to moderate mental health needs. It will reduce the reliance on acute mental health services, thereby making them more readily accessible for people in need of a more specialist mental health service.
It is a particular priority of mine to see quality counselling services developed further across both primary and secondary care in 2016. Funding will be provided for the continued development of these important services, including the provision of two new Jigsaw youth mental health services in Cork and Dublin city centres.
In addition to continuing the development of Community Mental Health Teams, other priorities for investment include improved 24/7 responses and liaison services, Psychiatry of Later Life and Perinatal Mental Health. We will continue to develop mental health clinical programmes and next year will include two new programmes, specifically ADHD in Adults and Children, and Dual Diagnosis of those with Mental Illness and Substance Misuse.”
The Minister continued “this significant investment since 2012 is facilitating the ongoing policy of moving away from the traditional institutional-based care to a patient-centred, flexible and community-based mental health service, where hospital admissions are greatly reduced, while still providing in-patient care when appropriate.”