25th November 2011
Minister James Reilly
Department of Health
Re: Funding for Mental Health Services
I wish to raise with you my concerns in relation to the possible cut to funding for mental health services in Budget 2012.
As a Government, we have committed to ring fencing €35 million to implement the recommendations of ‘A Vision for Change’. You can therefore imagine how concerned I was to hear a rumour that this ring fenced funding is to be cut in the forthcoming Budget.
Whilst I appreciate that measures have to be taken to cut public expenditure and that unpalatable decisions need to be made, I strongly urge you to not renege on our promise to allocate this specific funding to mental health services.
Since the implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’ in 2006, the Mental Health Commission has consistently called on progress to be made in fulfilling the recommendations as outlined in the Report. A crisis currently exists within Ireland regarding mental health and the services provided to patients, and it is vital that this Government follows through on its commitments to address these problems.
I look forward to hearing your views on this matter and I hope you can bear in mind my concerns when dealing with the budgetary issues facing your Department.
Anthony Lawlor TD