Wednesday 21 March 2018

Colum Kenny: Community no substitute for mental health services

The state of many facilities beggars belief when we could have fixed them in the boom, says Colum Kenny

Wake up and smell the urine. Some of our health services are not fit for purpose. And the solution is? To dump mentally ill patients on to the streets and call it "care in the community". A report out last week shows that we failed to provide well enough for the mentally vulnerable when money was plentiful. So what chance now?

We cannot blame the Church for this one. It is our call. Our Government. And the annual report of the Mental Health Commission does not make pretty reading. It comes on top of revelations about our failure to provide adequate services for young people at risk.

Let's be honest. We were unable or unwilling to equip major hospitals with sufficient Accident and Emergency rooms even for the general public during a massive building boom. It is hardly surprising that some of our weakest citizens were left to stew in their own juices. Yet, any of us could fall mentally ill.

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