Thursday, 28 September 2017
Department of Health
Mental Health Services Funding
209. To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which adequate and financial provision remains available to his Department to meet the requirements of the mental health services with particular reference to the need to ensure the maintenance of the necessary supportive structures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41182/17]
As reflected in the agreed Programme for Government, the Government remains strongly committed to developing all aspects of mental health policy and services. This includes, for example, on-going reviews of both the Mental Health Act 2001, and A Vision for Change. We will increase also the HSE Mental Health budget annually, as resources allow over future years. In the region of €140m additional funding has been provided for mental health since 2012, involving the approval of around 1,500 new posts to delivery the change necessary to achieve a modern, high quality service. The overall HSE funding provision for mental health in 2017 is significant at around €853m.
Key priorities being addressed in this context include youth mental health, further improvement to child & adolescent (CAMHS) and adult services, older people's services and enhanced Out-of-Hours response for those in need of urgent services. Other new initiatives, such as those arising from the National Task Force on Youth Mental Health are also being progressed. While this sector is experiencing difficulties in staff recruitment and retention, similar to other areas of the health sector, this is being addressed by the HSE, and funding is not an issue in that specific regard. However, as I have indicated, further investment will be required in the future to develop mental health services on all fronts, including progressing improved supports and continuing structural change.
I am satisfied that, bearing in mind all the circumstances, adequate financial provision exists at present to underpin this year development of mental health services, and that the Government is fully committed to improving this in the future.