Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke has welcomed the appointment of a primary care psychologist to Kildare.

Deputy O’Rourke previously raised concerns about the lack of a primary care psychologist in the Dáil with Minister for Health Simon Harris and pressed the need for an appointment to be made without delay.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “Kildare was left without a primary care psychologist for a number of months which had a detrimental impact on mental health services in the region. I raised this issue with Minister Harris on a number of occasions and pointed out that the absence of a psychologist in the county was at odds with his Government’s claim that they are pulling out all the stops to strengthen mental health services.

“Minister Harris recently wrote to me to confirm that “a new Primary Care Psychologist has recently taken up her post in North Kildare.”

“This is a positive development. The need for a properly staffed mental health service has never been greater. Primary care psychologists play a vital role in assisting people in managing their mental health and promoting psychological wellbeing within communities.

“Fianna Fáil is pushing for additional investment in mental health services in Budget 2018 and I will be working to ensure Kildare gets the resources it needs. There has been significant under investment in mental health services in recent years and a change in approach is clearly needed.

“The ‘Vision for Change’ policy document set out a roadmap for developing our mental health services. It was first published in 2006 yet many of its recommendations remain to be addressed. The Government urgently needs to refocus its efforts to ensure our mental health services are fit for purpose.”