2018 Pre-budget submission: Priorities for Mental Health Services that must be addressed in Budget 2018
The External Affairs and Policy department of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland submitted the following to the Department of Finance in advance of the 2018 Budget. The mission of the College is to promote excellence in the practice of Psychiatry. The College, formed in 2009, is the professional and training body for psychiatrists in the Republic of Ireland. The College maintains its supports for the implementation of a Recovery based Mental Health Service as delineated in A Vision for Change.
Priorities for Mental Health Services in Budget 2018 to ensure Equality of Access for All:
1. Equality of Access Nationally for all to Mental Health Services:
Urgent and continuous planning to ensure nationwide access to fully resourced multidisciplinary teams based on need is required.
Access to mental health services and a full multi-disciplinary team for those in need and their family members/carers is lottery like and very much dependent on a person’s postcode. Some areas may have a nurse, psychologist, psychiatrist and social worker but lack an occupational therapist, for instance, who can provide that key piece needed to address the work and other aspects of a person’s life that require support to aid recovery. Lack of full teams in areas means that some people are disadvantaged by their address.
2. Appropriate Budget Amount for Mental Health Services and Beyond:
Immediate increase of the mental health budget to 10% of the health budget rising to 12% by 2020 (2017 gross net capital is 851.3 million of 14 billion). This should be separate to extra funding allocated each year for once off projects/capital expenditure. Systems of accountability, transparency (including a breakdown of allocation of funding) and review for evaluation of successes, adjustments and improvements needed are essential but in the overall context of a person centred service and better outcomes for those for whom the services exist.
Twenty five percent of the budget should be designated to further development of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
3. Retention, Recruitment and Working Environment:
Ensure budgetary expenditure nationally for a working environment that attracts, trains, and retains high quality clinical staff from all necessary disciplines to our Mental Health Services both at community and hospital care level so that person centred recovery oriented support, care and treatment can be provided to those with chronic enduring mental illness and mental health issues.