Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Department of Health
202. To ask the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 894 and 895 of 29 September 2020, regarding an increase in suicide and mental health issues during the Covid-19 pandemic, if the correspondence will be provided to this Deputy. [35465/20]
The reply to Parliamentary Question No. 895 mentioned that concern has been expressed, including in correspondence to me, that there has been, and is likely to continue to be, an increase in mental health issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, including in suicide, suicidal ideation and self-harm.
The Deputy will appreciate, in current circumstances, that it may take some time to review such correspondence. I have instructed my officials to carry out this work, in compliance with data protection requirements. and to forward all relevant documents to the Deputy.
There are anecdotal reports of increased acute hospital admissions from suicide attempts, compared to the same period in 2019. While initial data does not support these claims, the Department and HSE continue to monitor the situation.
At present, we do not yet fully understand the impact of Covid-19 on mental health, the extent of subsequent supports that may be required and how this will affect longer term demand for services. However, already this year we have allocated €2.2 million for additional psychological supports and the Department is working closely with the HSE, monitoring demand and providing additional supports where required.