Dáil debates

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Mental Health Services

9:22 am

Photo of Anne RabbitteAnne Rabbitte (Galway East, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

The continued development of a special service for eating disorders, including improved access and shorter waiting lists, remains a key priority for the Government, the Minister of State, Deputy Mary Butler, the Department of Health and the HSE. As stated, €3.94 million is available to the national clinical programme for eating disorders and will enable further investment in specialist posts throughout the year. Only last night, the Minister of State acknowledged in the House that there is a fundamental flaw with regard to waiting lists, which is the recruitment process. It takes 50 weeks to recruit a person into a post. She was successful in securing the funding but the funding is only as good as the people when they arrive through the doors of their units. I have announced a lot and re-announced what the Minister of State has committed to, but until the people arrive in the posts, we will not see that service delivered or any relief whatsoever for those families, no matter what age they are presenting at, whether they are looking for support at local hospitals or from CAMHS teams. I listed a number of CHOs but I notice that Deputy Durkan's CHO was not included. It needs to be addressed at a local level.

There is not a Deputy in this Parliament who has not been impacted by dual diagnosis. We all know that when people have mental health issues, there is always something else coupled with it and there is usually an underlying condition. It breaks out in other formats, whether drinking, drugs or antisocial behaviour. There needs to be understanding and empathy but we need to look at dual diagnosis. When the Deputy talks about poking the bear, I think that we have the right Minister of State in the right role to do that.


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