Tuesday 17 October 2017

Young need action, not words, on mental health

As of July, 2,419 children and adolescents were waiting for a first appointment with mental health services and 6,000 for primary care psychology appointments (stock picture)
As of July, 2,419 children and adolescents were waiting for a first appointment with mental health services and 6,000 for primary care psychology appointments (stock picture)

Eddie Molloy

Fine words have been exchanged in the Dáil in recent days about the need to address deficiencies in the mental health services.

The Taoiseach has acknowledged that waiting lists for child and adolescent mental health services are unacceptably high; Micheál Martin has said that mental health must be a priority in the Budget. But on Budget day on Tuesday,  will these fine words translate into action?

Will we see the public mental health services receive the funds promised in the agreement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael when this Government was established? Will mental health be given parity of esteem with physical health? Or will we see once again, as in years past, that the pain of mental distress is considered less important than our physical ailments?

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