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Dáil Question on mental health services in A&E Departments

QUESTION NO: 205

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Ms. Lynch)

by Deputy Anthony Lawlor

for WRITTEN ANSWER on 10/07/2014

* To ask the Minister for Health the position regarding the provision of mental health services in accident and emergency departments throughout the country; his plans to increase the level of funding for mental health care in accident and emergency departments nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. Anthony Lawlor T.D.

Where an individual is in distress, their fist point of contact is the GP who can assess their situation and decide if referral to a specialist service is required. In the event of an emergency, an individual may present to a hospital emergency department where he/she will be assessed and may, if it is deemed clinically appropriate, be referred to the mental health service or may be admitted to an acute psychiatric unit.

Since 2012, this Government has prioritised the reform of our mental health services with the provision of an additional €90 million and some 1,100 new posts for mental health, including 37 new Clinical Nurse Specialist posts for hospital emergency departments as part of the Clinical Care Programme for responding to self harm presentations. The question of funding for mental health next year will be considered as part of the Estimates Process 2015.