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€1.05m Funding for Crisis House in Clonmel is very welcome but must proceed with Urgency- McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed confirmation from the Minister of State for Mental Health Mary Butler that the Crisis House in Clonmel is to receive €1.05m in funding in Budget 2021.

Deputy McGrath who has consistently been raising the absolute need for mental health services in Tipperary and initiated a number of meetings with Minister Butler in Clonmel since her appointment as Junior Minister and has welcomed the move which will hopefully bring the Crisis House at Glenconnor beyond Tender Stage. It is hoped that the project will go tender in Q1 2021.

Deputy McGrath had expressed his huge disappointment at the level of funding provided for Mental Health Services nationwide which he believes falls far short of what is needed to deal with the huge mental health crisis facing us.

“Budget 2021 provided €38 million for Mental Health Services and while this increase is very welcome, it unfortunately is less than half of the estimated €80million which was deemed to be required for the improvement of Mental Health Services nationwide.” Claimed Deputy McGrath

“2020 has been an increasingly difficult year and Covid 19 continues to negatively impact people's mental health. We have witnessed a huge increase in the demand for mental health services with Mental Health Charity Jigsaw reporting an increased demand of 50% on their services since the pandemic hit.

Even prior to the onset of Covid 19, Mental Health Services were facing a huge crisis with over 10,000 people waiting for Primary Care Psychology Services, 80% of whom are children while approximately 2000 children are waiting for CAMHS. We know that there was a 30% increase in those presenting to South Tipperary General Hospital between 2018 and 2019 and over 41% increase in those requiring admission to acute services in the same year.” Continued McGrath

Despite these staggering figures, services are non-existent or haphazard at best. Tipperary continues to have no acute beds with the HSE and Government having no plans to provide such beds.

“I very much welcome the funding for the provision of a Crisis House in Tipperary which will be a huge boost to the services in Tipperary, however, it must now proceed with urgency as it has been at a standstill for some years now.

I will also continue to pursue the provision of acute mental health beds for Tipperary and increased supports for CAMHS. It is absolutely imperative that Tipperary is recognised as being in urgent need of the provision of mental health services so I am pleased with this funding of €1.05million for the Crisis House but it must now move with the same urgency that recent Covid related works have moved at.

We are facing a very difficult winter for those facing mental health difficulties and the Government and HSE to date has simply not recognised the significance of the crisis facing our mental health services. €38 million unfortunately will go nowhere near far enough to improve the provision of mental health services nationwide but I thank Minister Butler for providing this funding for Clonmel.” Concluded Deputy McGrath