Progress on A Vision for Change remains painfully slow – Neville

Fine Gael Limerick TD and President of the Irish Association of Suicidology, Dan Neville, has today (Tuesday) warned that most of our inpatient mental health facilities are still completely inadequate, while implementation of A Vision for Change remains painfully slow. Deputy Neville was speaking during an address at the Seventh Annual Conference of the INMO Telephone Triage Nurses Section in Limerick.

“In 2006, A Vision for Change was adopted as the basis for the development of mental health services in Ireland. And yet, five years on, there is a disappointing lack of progress and an absence of leadership at national level.

“In July of this year, the Independent Monitoring Group reported that specialist services promised under the strategy have not been developed. These include forensic mental healthcare services, rehabilitation and recovery, eating disorder treatment and psychiatric services for older people.

“A Vision for Change calls for a person-centred, recovery orientated and holistic approach to mental health services. But services remain widely deficient with limited access to community care, and few multidisciplinary teams in place. In 2009, only one in five staff in the mental health service was working in a community setting. This is not acceptable. The majority of our in patient facilities are completely unsuitable and out dated.

“Non-capital expenditure on mental health services was just 5.3% of the overall health spend in 2010. A Vision for Change recommends that spending of 8.4% should be reached. At a time when Ireland has one of the fastest rising suicide rates in the world, this goal must be kept in our sights.”

Contact:

Sarah Meade

Fine Gael Press Office

01 618 3379