Fianna Fáil Senator and Seanad Group Leader, Catherine Ardagh is to host a public meeting on Mental Health on Wednesday 30 November, at 7.30pm.

The meeting is being held in the Richmond Barracks, Inchicore and the keynote speakers will be Kate Mitchell, Mental Health Reform and Fianna Fáil’s Mental Health Spokesperson James Browne TD who will both be available to answer questions from the audience.

Senator Ardagh said, “This public meeting is an opportunity for people to discuss mental health reform and funding allocation to services in our community. Sadly, the many stories of difficulties in accessing services and support resonate with a lot of people through my locality.

“The Confidence and Supply Arrangement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael commits to the full implementation of the ‘A Vision for Change’ policy, and this remains a key priority for us. There has been significant under investment in mental health services in recent years and this practice must change.

“Fianna Fáil is calling on the Government to set out how exactly it intends on achieving full implementation of the country’s mental health strategy. We have made it clear that mental health spending can’t be put on the back burner, so it’s time for Fine Gael and their Independent colleagues to spell out their plan for mental health services.

“One key measure which we want to see is the introduction of a multi-annual plan for the development of mental health services. Currently the Government allocates funding to mental health on a year to year basis. This is preventing long term planning and development from taking place. Instead there should be a multi-annual plan so that our mental health services can be developed with certainty.

“The purpose of this public meeting is to help address those queries and allow people have a greater understanding the government’s spending allocation for mental health services.The meeting is open to all members of the public and is free of charge,” concluded Senator Ardagh.