More than 2,500 extra staff needed for mental health services, says Carlow senator

'If the current recruitment trends continue it will put people in danger....'

Fianna Fáil Senator for Carlow, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, has called on the Government to adequately resource Mental Health Services.

Senator Murnane O’Connor - who is a member of the Mental Health Committee - said if current recruitment trends continue it will put people in danger.

She was commenting as figures provided to Fianna Fáil show that more than 2,500 additional staff are needed for the full provision of mental health services across the country.

"If the state is to honour the commitments made under the Vision for Change policy then 2,671 extra staff need to be employed in our mental health services.

"Like most people, I was hopeful that a Vision for Change would be a radical change from the previous mental health care policies. Yet thirteen years on, we continue to fall well short of what people need.

"9,938 staff were employed across our mental health services in January 2019 – that’s an increase of 140 on the previous year. If that rate of recruitment continues we should have the required numbers for the population of Ireland in 2019 by 2038.

"As usual the people who suffer are the patients and their families desperate for help," she said. 

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