Mental healthcare is ‘pitifully inadequate’, says Limerick priest

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

'Scandalous': Fr Tony O'Riordan
A CITY priest has described the standard of care and the attitude of staff to people facing mental health problems as “pitifully inadequate, scandalous and inexcusable”.

A CITY priest has described the standard of care and the attitude of staff to people facing mental health problems as “pitifully inadequate, scandalous and inexcusable”.

Moyross parish priest Fr Tony O’Riordan was speaking at the funeral of a young man who tragically lost his life by suicide over Christmas.

And he said the time has now come to make a stand - and demand answers from the health service.

“When will we get a health service that is responsive to the needs of people experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis? As a society, we must insist on an end to the fractious nature of the services within our health system that ought to be able to respond to the needs of turmoil and distress,” he told mourners.

The outspoken Parish Priest suggested the attitude of some medical staff within the HSE left a lot to be desired.

“The current configuration of services, the attitudes of many working in those services and the standards of care are pitifully inadequate, scandalous and inexcusable,” he said.

Fr O’Riordan said far too often, people who are “at their most vulnerable” are “more likely to get judgement, silo-like referral and ultimately wholly inadequate or a meaningless response”.

“We can, and we ought to do better,” the Priest added.

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of the well-known Moyross community activist, aged 31, who was particularly active in the local soccer club. Dozens of tributes to the deceased man have been paid on the parish’s Facebook page.

Those coping with issues around mental health, depression, self-harm and suicide are urged to contact the Samaritans (116 123), Console (1800 201 890) or Aware (1890 303 302).