Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has criticised the slow delivery of urgently needed mental health posts which are required to fulfil the commitments made under the national mental health strategy, A Vision for Change.
Deputy Smith commented, “Just 11 of the 176 mental health posts that were approved for 2018 have been filled to date. It is very worrying 165 new hires are still needed to meet the target approved for 2018.
“Right now there are excessively long waiting lists for mental health services in Cavan-Monaghan, whether in CAMHS or for psychology appointments in primary care. Despite these lengthy waiting times and the fact almost €16 million in funding was provided to support recruitment, just one in sixteen positions have been filled. That’s less than €1 million.
“It’s clear we need a new approach. Last year the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care published a report which proposed among other things to consider the introduction of special allowances for psychiatric nurses.
“The Minister for Health needs to give serious attention to such recommendations. Otherwise we will continue to fail in recruiting vitally needed mental health staff,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.