The coalition Mental Health Reform this presented Minister of State for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch TD with a petition signed by over 21,000 people, calling for the government to keep its commitment to invest an additional €35 million in community mental health services next year. 10,000 people had signed a similar petition in 2012. This year, signatures were collected nationwide over eight weeks as part of the group’s Do What Works pre-budget campaign.
Mental Health Reform director Dr Shari McDaid commented on the petition total: “We are encouraged to see such support around the country for better mental health services. It shows that people want access to good quality mental health supports in their local community, and that they want the government to deliver on their promises. We would like to thank the people of Mayo for their support for the campaign.”
Dr McDaid concluded” “We know that mental and emotional distress has increased during the recession. We need to see real improvements in the services available. We do not want the recruitment process for multidisciplinary mental health staff to be delayed in order to make savings for the HSE and we urge the government to spend in 2013 the €35 million allocated for community mental health services for 2013, as well as allocating an additional €35 million for mental health services in 2014 for community mental health services as promised in the Programme for Government”.