Wednesday 26 July 2017

What planet are you on? Healthy minds matter

Leo Varadkar is living in La La Land if he thinks people with mental health issues can wait for better services, says Carol Hunt

Acting health minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Acting health minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Carol Hunt

Carol Hunt

It must be nice to live on another planet. One where everyone is feeling the effects of economic recovery; where homelessness is not at crisis levels; where debt isn't a constant worry and where no one suffers from mental health issues. It's a place where life is so pleasant and uncomplicated that few people suffer from anxiety or stress or depression, let alone terrible things like schizophrenia, manic depression (bipolar) or suicidation. And those few who do? Well, it's made very plain to them that they are causing the nice, contented people acute embarrassment - as well as taking money that they don't deserve - and really, they should do the decent thing and just feck off.

This is the planet that acting health minister Leo Varadkar and some of his friends in our 'caretaker' government live on. That is the only explanation I can come up with for the contempt they have for the increasing number of people who need to avail of mental health services.

Because if they didn't live on another planet, they would know that the plan to "borrow" €12m from an already paltry budget is reprehensible, immoral and cruel. These fellas have form here. They tried to take the entire €35m supposedly "ring-fenced" for mental health at the last budget, but were prevented from doing so because junior minister Kathleen Lynch stayed home on budget day until they relented. I don't know about you but I'd like to move to Leo's planet, it must be lovely to live in a place where you don't have to listen to people on the radio like Fr Paddy Byrne telling you about the eight people who died by suicide in Laois during the past three weeks alone. That's eight people. In 21 days. In Laois.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss