FF will fill the gaps in our Mental Health Service and increase access for all – Browne

Published on: 28 January 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne has set out three key priorities for mental health provision over the next five years, if his party is returned to government.

Fianna Fáil wants to address the crisis in children’s services, increase community services and improve access, quality and integration of mental health services.

Deputy Browne said, “Quality mental health services have always been a priority for Fianna Fáil and over the past number of years we have put actively engaging with mental health groups to try and put mental health policy on a par with physical health. Unfortunately, Fine Gael has blocked these proposals and stymied progress in mental health provision.

“Fianna Fáil will take an active approach in reducing the burden of mental health and promoting mental health well-being. Services for children have suffered greatly over the past number of years, with long waiting times and difficulties in accessing the system. My party will prioritise recruitment in Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services with a special focus on areas where there are severe staff shortages.

“We need to bolster community supports across the country, and we would ensure that any new GP contract contains specific provisions for mental healthcare so that care can be accessed through a range of services.

“Many of the laws and regulations governing mental health are in urgent need of updating. The outgoing government completely ignored this issue and failed to bring forward any measures to address it over the past four years. This is clear evidence of just how far down the priority list mental health is for Fine Gael.

“Fianna Fáil will expand the powers of the Mental Health Commission to regulate providers and ensure compliance; amend the Criminal Law (Suicide Act) to make it an offence to coerce or incite another person to take, or attempt to take, their own life; and update the 2001 Mental Health Act to bring it in line with the recommendations of the expert review report.

“We are committed to providing a strong and supportive mental health system, through a strong suite of measures of early intervention and programmes designed to prevent mental ill-health developing in the first place”.

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