A new survey has found that there is strong support among the public for increased State investment in Ireland’s mental health services.
The poll, conducted by Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, and carried out by Ipsos MRBI, found that the public are willing to invest more in mental health care when compared to other health programmes.
People shared the same sentiment even if they have never had direct experience with a mental health issue, the report found.
The report also found that 84% of respondents thought that the Irish health service places too little focus on mental health,
Speaking at the launch of the report, Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, said, “Ireland needs a real step-change in Government investment for mental health services to address the huge increase in need.
"This report brings clear evidence of the great value members of the public place on investment in the Irish mental health system and suggests that Government should substantially boost the priority given to mental health within the wider health system, in order to reflect the public’s concerns.
"In May 2018, over 6,500 children and young people were waiting for their first psychological appointment. Staffing in mental health services is still not even back up to the levels that were in place 2008.
"Even with investment by the Government of over €200m between 2012 and 2018, the system still cannot cope with the amount of people coming forward to access supports.”
“We need the Government to listen to the public’s concerns and invest the type of resources that will finally bring about parity of esteem between mental healthcare and physical healthcare,” Dr. McDaid said.