Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Department of Health
Health Services Data
846. To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide, in tabular form, the number of persons waiting for their first appointments for talk therapies, for example, psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling or counselling psychology approaches and so on, for zero to three months, three to six months, six to nine months, nine to 12 months, 12 to 18 months, 18 to 24 months, and more than 24 months, detailed in separate tables, the national figures, and then one for each Health Service Executive administrative area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22236/15]
Counselling is provided across the health service, by both the HSE and the voluntary sector including primary care, social care and within mental health. This type of service can be provided by a range of trained health professionals and delivered to meet a clinical need at either primary or secondary care level.
The Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC) service is a national service funded from the Programme for Government investment in Mental Health, to increase the access to counselling and psychotherapy and supplementing existing services provided by Primary Care. Within the specialist secondary care mental health service counselling and psychotherapy is provided within community mental health teams when service users are clinically assessed as requiring this intervention and is provided by a health professional on the team. Counselling is also provided by a range of voluntary organisations across the health service and HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention funds voluntary organisations such as Pieta House and Console to provide support across a range of needs.
The provision of a quality counselling service across both primary and secondary care will be developed further, as resources permit. In the first instance however, the HSE Mental Health Division must ensure that the funding currently allocated to CIPC is being used to best effect, to deliver the best outcomes. In this regard, I note the commitment in the HSE National Service Plan for 2015 to “Reviewing and improving access to psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic interventions in conjunction with the Primary Care Division” as a first step to further consolidate and direct counselling services generally.
In relation to the specific information requested by the Deputy, as this is a service issue this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy. If you have not received a reply within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.