The mental health system is not adequately prepared to cope with the significant increase in demand

The Regional Group of TDs secured cross-party support for their motion on Mental Health today.

Referrals for mental health services have significantly increased during the pandemic. The pandemic continues to have a profound impact on people; increasing social isolation, loneliness, anxiety, depression and undermining the social and cultural supports that we all rely on.

The Government needs stop talking about what they intend to do and put action to their promises.

The mental health system was not adequately prepared to cope with the significant increase in demand experienced over the last few months.

Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the mental health of our population regardless of age. It is having detrimental effects on young and older people and support services available to them.  Over 2,000 young people are awaiting appointments for CAMHS. There were 54 child admissions to adults’ units. The recent report by the Mental Health Commission states that we are currently not providing an integrated nationwide, comprehensive mental health service for our older people.

The Government’s response to the pandemic cannot continue to deny or delay access to people who urgently require mental health supports. We need to apply a whole-of-society approach to promote, protect and care for mental health, as mental health actions need to be considered essential components of the continued national response of COVID-19.

Going forward the Government needs to design and implement mental health services for the future and recognise that all affected communities will need quality mental health services to support society’s recovery from COVID-19.