24 November 2016

Labour Party spokesperson on mental health, Kathleen Lynch has tonight launched a new Doctor of Clinical Psychology programme in University College Cork.

“I welcome the launch of this programme, which stems from the work I did when I was Minister of State. It has been developed as a direct result of the groundbreaking policy and funding changes introduced over the last five years, where we saw annual increases secured for the mental health budget.”

“As a Minister I fought tooth and nail to secure new additional funding for advancing developments in mental health services every year, and then ensure it stayed in place. Compared to 2012, the day to day mental health budget is now over €115 million higher, alongside substantial capital investment that has taken place.”

“We are now starting to see the impact of that funding on frontline services, but more will have to be done each year. The news this week of a suicide rate of twice the national average in Cork shows the huge amount of work still to be done.”

“With 1 in 4 people suffering from poor mental health, there is a shortage of clinical psychologists, and this programme will deliver essential trained frontline staff every year.”

Clinical psychologists are “psychological doctors”, trained to work with people across their entire life span, dealing with a range of presentations including child and adult mental health difficulties, intellectual disability, dementia, chronic illness, neurological and forensic problems.

Commenting further, Kathleen said,

“It is another part of the jigsaw of frontline services that is needed to deliver a community based mental health service.”

“I want to congratulate the HSE and the School of Applied Psychology and School of Medicine in UCC on delivery of this practical initiative.”

Notes to Editors:

The new course is the result of collaboration between the HSE and the school of Applied Psychology and the School of Medicine in UCC and the first cohort of students began their studies in September.

This new initiative will support the professional training of Clinical Psychologists to meet the need to support current and future service demands both in this region and in the wider Irish healthcare system.

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