TD Ward: Alternative mental health budget ‘comprehensive’

13 new Mark Ward Sinn Fein

Dublin Mid-West TD for Sinn Fein Mark Ward has said that the party’s alternative mental health budget is “comprehensive and fully costed.”

Deputy Ward, who is Sinn Fein’s spokesperson for mental health said that the “state is in the grips of a mental health crisis.

“This crisis demands an emergency response and substantial, ongoing funding commitments.

“Frontline community and voluntary service providers are struggling with the unprecedented demand for mental healthcare in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“First-time service users are increasing rapidly year-on-year while waiting lists for child and adolescents.

“Mental Health Services and Primary Care Psychology Services exceed 10,000.

“This is not sustainable,” he says.

Deputy Ward says the alternative budget “would increase core funding for mental health services by €63.24m with an additional €38.35m for capital spending on mental health services, including 50 more mental health beds in approved centres.

“We would hire more than 1,100 psychologists, counsellors, community psychiatric nurses, and more across primary, community, and acute mental health services including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

“Sinn Féin would put a major focus on expanding access to both primary/community and acute mental health services.

“In 2022, we would implement a range of measures which underpin Sharing the Vision and its predecessor Vision for Change, both of which the Government failed to fund, much like Sláintecare.”

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