Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne has written to Minister Harris to request an outline of what progress has been made on the establishment of a Mental Health Taskforce to deal with the fallout of COVID-19.

This comes following a warning from the United Nations today that the COVID-19 pandemic risks sparking a major global mental health crisis.

Deputy Browne said, “On April 23rd in the Dáil I asked the Health Minister very specifically if he would establish a Mental Health Taskforce to flatten the mental health curve and prepare for the inevitable mental health fallout of COVID-19, which will be with us long after the virus has passed.

“I also called on him to put very specific mental health supports for our healthcare workers and those working in nursing and residential care homes, who have been disproportionately affected, in place.

“Minister Harris said he agreed that a Mental Health Taskforce made sense and that he would work with the Oireachtas to make this happen.

“We’re almost a month down the line and I am still waiting to see any details to establish this very important Taskforce. Given the UN report today on the psychological distress caused by this pandemic I think it’s time for a Mental Health Taskforce to begin its work,” he concluded.