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Community mental health sector near crisis

This week we had World Suicide Prevention Day and one key message that has been popularised is: “It’s ok not to feel ok; and it’s absolutely okay to ask for help.”

With those words ringing in my ears I am pleading with our Government to give help to our community-based mental health services.

This area of mental health is in serious trouble and if something is not done immediately to address the issue, we will be facing another crisis similar to that in homelessness currently and A&E earlier in the year.

While I am sure Minister Lynch might argue that much has been announced or promised in recent months, I can assure her that opinion is not shared by those on the frontline of mental health services around.

Rural Ireland has been decimated in recent years by this recession with closures of banks post offices, local businesses all of which had an untold effect on the mental health of communities throughout Ireland.

There are people suffering right now, as we speak, who have nowhere to turn for help, and more tragically, there have been lives lost be cause they were either too scared to speak up or did not know where to turn for help.

Our organisation has only recently discovered that many GPs do not feel they have adequate access to mental services in their area.

So my question to Minister Lynch is how you can say much has been improved with mental health services when those on the front line don’t even know where they should be sending their patients for support.

Michele Kerrigan

CEO GROW

Forrest Mews

Forrest Road

Swords

Co Dublin


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