The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Friday 21 st October) that it is extremely concerned and disappointed that the Budget commitment of €35 million in extra funding for mental health services will in fact amount to just €15 million in 2017.
The revelation by Minster of State for Mental Health, Helen McEntee in the Dail yesterday (Thursday) which confirmed that just €15m of the €35 million Budget allocation would be spent in 2017 is once again a Budget Day ‘sleight of hand' that leaves mental health services underfunded and trying to play catch-up after years of cut backs.
PNA General Secretary Designate, Peter Hughes said: ‘Unfortunately we have become all too familiar to Budget Day announcements on mental health spending that have no basis in fact. This year's Budget appears to be another example of this with Minister McEntee now confirming that funding would be merely 'initiated' in 2017 and not all of it would be spent in that year'.
‘The mental health budget is still trying to recover from years of cutbacks and those involved in mental health can be justifiably cynical of the statements from the Taoiseach and politicians from all parties in the General Election earlier this year pledging support for mental health services and commitments to adequately invest in the development of those services.'
Mr Hughes said the PNA will be seeking clarification from Minister McEntee regarding the Budget Day announcement on mental health and details of the timeline for investment in services.
Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 086-2430535