Increasing the spend on mental health is one of the calls being made by the Psychiatric Nurses Association at its annual meeting in Athlone today.
Union members are also expected to stress the importance of allowances to the Minister with special responsibility for mental health, Kathleen Lynch, when she addresses the conference this afternoon.
PNA general secretary Des Kavanagh said the Government needed to drastically and urgently increase the mental health budget.
"The average spend (on mental health) as a percentage of the health budget in the western world is 12%. We're currently spending around 4.5% of the health budget on mental health," he said.
"That is a dangerously low amount and we are seeing the results of that."
Meanwhile, yhe Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is calling for 300 additional nursing posts.
The second day of the union's annual conference is getting underway in Killarney.
The INMO says money from the primary care budget could be used to fund the additional posts.