Fianna Fáil Mental Health spokesperson James Browne says that the full implementation of the staffing requirements under the landmark mental health strategy A Vision for Change is still a long way off.

“We are now into the fourteenth year of what was originally a ten year plan. Incredibly it could take another fifteen years to put in place the personnel needed to implement this plan”, said Deputy Browne.

“When launched in 2006, A Vision for Change signified a far-reaching break from the previous approach to mental health care.  At its heart is a recovery based model, which encourages a partnership approach and one based on the person’s capacity to lead a fulfilling life.

“Figures recently provided to me indicate that we are still falling far short of what is needed in terms of staff positions.  1,637 posts to be precise.

“Children’s mental services are especially under resourced. Just over half the number of staff required for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are in place. For Children’s Mental Health Intellectual Disability Teams the figures are truly shocking.  159 staff posts are required but just 12 – that’s only 7.6% – are in place.

“The number of mental health staff increased by 107 in 2018. At this rate of recruitment it will take another fifteen years for the full complement of staff to be in place – the year 2034. That would be twenty-eight years to implement a ten year plan. It’s just not good enough”, concluded Deputy Browne.