Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Health): Statements
Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
I thank the Deputy and note his sincere and strong interest in the issue of mental health. I could outline, although I do not have the time now, what we are doing to beef up the public mental health services but I agree with the Deputy that Pieta House does a really good job. It is very well regarded by people throughout our country, as was seen in recent weeks in terms of how people responded to the fundraising call from Pieta House.
My understanding is that the HSE and Pieta House have formally agreed to that additional funding, as the Deputy rightly noted, of €114,608 per month, or €343,824 per quarter, and that will be provided once the current Government staffing cost schemes, which Pieta House has availed of, have ceased. It is to help keep staff. The HSE has also committed to providing cashflow support on a monthly basis, with the position to be reviewed after each quarter. The funding is being provided to fund an additional 300 hours of high-risk clients and a quarterly review will ensure anybody who commences a programme can complete it.
As I said when we spoke last week, the cashflow support is contingent on the continuation of that engagement between the HSE and Pieta House on a more sustainable funding model for the organisation. Work has been ongoing between the HSE and Pieta for some time on how to ensure that the funding will be sustainable into the future. That ongoing engagement is required in return for the cashflow support.