Latest: Report calls for less reliance on medication in mental health cases

Update 9.30am: The HSE has been accused of not listening to advice on mental health.

Pieta House founder, Joan Freeman, claims new Government recommendations to improve services are useless unless the health authority actually implements them.

An Oireachtas report suggests cutting down reliance on medication and using talk-therapy instead.

It also wants extra funding and more access for vulnerable patients like travellers and transgender people.

But Joan Freeman doubts the HSE will act on the advice.

She said: "The solution is very, very simple with most of these issues.

"The problem is is do we get the HSE to move on them, and how do we?

"If they're not listening to anybody, if they're not accountable to anybody, how to we get them to answer these questions."

Earlier: An Oireachtas Committee has made more than 30 recommendations to improve mental health services.

They include seeking more funding and more access to services for travellers and transgender people.

The Committee is examining mental health in Ireland and wants to see a realistic plan and timeframe for the provision of 24/7 crisis intervention teams.

It also recommends moving away from an over-reliance on prescribing medicine to deal with mental health issues, with more of a focus on counselling and talk therapy.

It says an examination should be done to see if online mental health services could be made available.

The committee wants mental health training to be carried out among all disciplines in the health service.

To address the wider issue of staffing and recruitment in the health service it recommends that workers be given special subsidised accommodation to ease the cost of living and that flexible work hours be encouraged.

When it comes to minorities the report says traveller specific services should be funded.

It also calls for training for health workers to make them aware of issues facing Travellers, LGBTI people and migrants

While a specialist health unit for transgender people is encouraged as well.

The report will be launched in Leinster House this afternoon.


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