A mental health charity is calling for a “strong signal” in today’s Budget that the nation’s new mental health policy will be adequately funded to deal with the impact of Covid-19.
Mental Health Ireland has called for additional investment in mental health and funding to support the implementation of the recently published ‘Sharing the Vision’ national policy for the whole population.
Mr Martin Rogan, CEO of Mental Health Ireland said the needs of the whole population of the country need to be addressed.
“The WHO recommends that each state needs to dedicate 12% of its health spending to mental health care, but in Ireland it is less than 7%,” he said.
“Despite the extraordinary commitment of staff working in our services is, it is unrealistic to expect them to be able to function effectively with less than 60% of the recommended funding
“The additional pressures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic have uncloaked the underlying tension and fragility that many Irish people live with.
“Strained social bonds, overstretched families, inadequate childcare provision, drug and alcohol misuse and financial uncertainty.
“Things can be difficult at the best of times, and these are clearly not the best of times,” said Mr Rogan.
“Guided by the recommendations in ‘Sharing the Vision,’ we at Mental Health Ireland are keen to build upon our work in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing and being pragmatic partners with people in recovery.
“This will require some additional investment, and we are aware of the desire amongst the Irish public to respond to the challenges of Covid-19 by protecting the mental health of our population, while creating credible pathways to recovery for all.
“We need to invest in our mental health services, but we also need to invest both upstream and downstream of these services if we are to come through this together,” he added.