Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health, Colm Keaveney TD, says that on World Suicide Prevention Day the Government needs to urgently address its failure to properly implement the Vision for Change recommendations.

He commented: “Since the Vision for Change strategy was published seven years ago by the last Government there have been substantial improvements in the mental health services across the country. However, this has stalled in recent years and the reform agenda in the document is sadly failing.

“The recent high profile resignation of a Clinical Director in Beaumont Hospital over concerns for psychiatric services together with the tragic death of a resident at a psychiatric hospital in Waterford last week serves as stark reminder that we cannot be complacent in our commitment to mental health.

“The mental health services in Wexford and Waterford were recently amalgamated with only one extra staff member moved to the new facilities in Waterford. 

“The ongoing dispute between mental health specialists in Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary and Minister Kathleen Lynch over the clinical management of the service is alarming and is not being resolved. 

“Minister Lynch needs to ensure that that the 1,000 vacant posts across mental health services are filled immediately. The budget for mental health services has not been protected and services are being sacrificed as a consequence. 

“On World Mental Health Day I am calling on Minister Lynch to address the deficiencies in the system and ensure mental health services in this country are properly resourced.”