Musician Niall Breslin has urged politicians to “park the egos” and admit mental health services are not even close to being adequate. The singer, better known as Bressie, who has spoken publicly about his own mental health battle has called on the Government to properly address the lack of joined up services.
Appearing before the Oireachtas Health Committee yesterday he gave a passionate speech detailing his own struggles: “Some days I would sit in my classroom on the verge of fainting as I hyperventilated and fought for air while my teachers continued to teach the class, oblivious to the fact that one of their students was in the midst of a living nightmare,” he said. He told politicians major change is needed to plug “the gaping holes in logic” when it comes to mental health.
“For us to progress, everyone in this room has to be painfully honest with each other and accept our mental health services and systems are not even close to being adequate or resourced for the demand and requirement that is put upon them.”
“This is not a blame game or headhunt, but for us to build an effective long-term strategy we have to park the egos, politics and economics and put human beings first. We have some incredibly gifted people in this country when it comes to education, mental health and psychology, so it’s a matter of joining the dots and building something together that can give our youth the support they require to survive in this often chaotic world,” he said.
He called for preventative measures to allow people deal with their mental health issues at an infancy stage.
Instead of over-relying on centralised models Mr Breslin said we have to “create easy access to talk therapies and counselling service at a community level”.
“The idea of a teenager having to be driven half way across the country after waiting two months for a referral is completely unacceptable. A two-tier system when it comes to mental health simply doesn’t work. Access needs to be immediate and without charge for every child and teenager in this country,” he said.
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