Limerick TD seeks answers on mental health budget

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Tom Neville
Limerick Fine Gael TD Tom Neville

LIMERICK Fine Gael TD Tom Neville wants the Health Service Executive (HSE) brought before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care to outline its spending on mental health services.

Stating that the HSE must appear before the committee as a matter of urgency, Deputy Neville said that as a publicly funded body, it had a significant role in mental health services and must explain its current processes.

“As a member of the committee, I want to question the HSE on their budget and what value for money we are getting for it. We need a full account of what daily services are on offer and what taxpayers’ money is being spent on.

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“The HSE needs to talk to us about recruitment and the problems experienced in this area. We have to examine and identify anomalies in the system that may curtail recruitment or compromise the recruitment process,” Deputy Neville explained.

“It is essential we examine the referral process to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, their future implementation and forward planning, given that the Government has allocated an additional €35 million to develop mental health services in 2018.

“Thankfully, people understand how big an issue mental health is and that has led to the establishment of this committee. Now we need to see how services can be improved,” he added.

“We must also continue to combat stigma and propel a culture of acceptance and understanding in allowing people come forward who may be experiencing emotional difficulty in their lives.

“This new committee can assist in bringing about change in how our mental health services are delivered and help and enhance the implementation of a vision for change.

“We need to interact and question key stakeholders in mental health services. There is a body of previously unexplored work to be conducted here and it is one I’m looking forward to”.

Deputy Neville said he will be writing to the committee to ask that the HSE is one of the first organisations called before it.

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