Call to reverse €12m cut to mental health
THE recent €12m cut to mental health funding was criticised by councillors who unanimously supported a motion by Cllr Davy Hynes for the cut to be reversed.
Cllr Hynes, pictured, said: 'People have been debating mental health and we don't need to be reminded of this. We have the highest rate of suicide in the country. It's surprising and shocking that this cut was made. Over two months this year 100 people have taken their own lives.'
Cllr Hynes said mental health funding comprised 30 per cent of the overall health budget in Ireland in the 1980s and today it accounts for 6.2 per cent. He said there were huge protests over the planned cuts to Wexford General Hospital and the same needs to happen over mental health cuts.
Cllr George Lawlor said St Senan's psychiatric hospital was an archaic building but 'at least it was an option for people'.
'What is ludicrous is if you turn you at Wexford A&E and present to the acute services you have to go through Waterford A&E also. Where is the joined up thinking?'
Cllr Deirdre Wadding said: 'To close something and not to replace it with something else is utterly irresponsible. We are dealing with mental health here. We all know the horror stories.'
In a separate motion Cllr Hynes called for a 24/7 psychiatric unit for the county. He said he agrees with treating people suffering from mental health problems in the community but a 24/7 service is needed. He received unanimous support.