Psychiatric nurses are to strike later today to highlight overcrowding in a unit at University Hospital Waterford.
They say unprecedented levels of overcrowding, and staffing shortages, are continuously compromising standards of care for service users and placing staff working in the psychiatric unit under "intolerable pressure".
Pictures released first in the Irish Examiner show patients sleeping on the floor of the Psychiatric Unit in University Hospital Waterford.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association says mental health services have been massively neglected since the recession in 2008, with hundreds of nurses moving abroad and several hundred vacancies in the service.
Industrial relations officer with the PNA Michael Hayes says those in authority need to stop burying their heads in the sand.
"There is no one in the HSE (or) Health Commission (or) Government that doesn't know this is going on," he said.
"No one there can say they don't know it's going on for the last two years. We're looking for a commitment now to ensure that this never happens again."