Properly resourced public mental health service key to ending the stigma

10 October 2022

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Monday, 10th October) on World Mental Health Day urged the government to take a lead in ending the stigma surrounding mental health by introducing a Mental Health funding grant of €20 per pupil in schools, and to adequately resource Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) once and for all.

Deputy Smith said:

“Ireland currently has one of the highest rates of mental health illness in Europe and our mental health services are being pushed to the brink. One in four people in our society will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Mental health issues have become increasingly prevalent amongst our youth with the increased pressures – both online and offline – that they face.

“Providing young people with the help they need as quickly as possible should be a priority. Anxiety surrounding education, work, the housing crisis, is not getting any better. Many people are struggling, and we need to do all we can to support them.

“If we are serious about mental health funding then we need to adequately and properly fund positive promotional campaigns. We must also fund good services that are proven to work and are responsive to people’s needs. Most mental health problems begin when we are young.
That’s why early intervention and support is essential if we are to give our young people the best possible start in life.

“As well as the targeted funding to deliver best in class care for those suffering with their mental health, we would also welcome the introduction of clearer information campaigns targeted at young and old. There is still plenty of work to do to educate and end the stigma surrounding mental illness that still exists in Ireland.

“As is the case in many other areas, it is clear the private system is picking up the slack because the public system is very much failing. This is wrong. If we had a properly resourced public mental health service, it is likely that many people would not have to turn to the private system in the first place for the help they deserve as citizens of the State. The absence of a properly resourced public mental health service is currently depriving people of the care they need. This needs to change.”

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