‘Failure to recruit staff’ increasing challenges for Limerick's mental health services

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan: Calling for more funding for mental health services

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan: Calling for more funding for mental health services

THE HUGE efforts of volunteers tackling mental health issues in Limerick should not go overlooked.

That is according to Deputy Maurice Quinlivan, who called for more funding for resources in the area in Dail Eireann recently. 

He made the calls at Leinster House as deputies discussed the proposed Mental Health Bill. He said that it gave TDs an opportunity to “highlight the totally inadequate funding for mental health and the continued reluctance of this government to address the problems in this area”.

Nationally, there are more than 2,600 children waiting for an appointment with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team, which treats those with moderate to severe mental health problems.

“This is due in large part to a failure to recruit staff needed to fully operate a CAMHS team. At present and for quite some time now, around half of the positions in CAMHS teams across the country are vacant. Figures released to Sinn Féin also show the child and adolescent mental health team in the Limerick region is operating with only 58.7% of the recommended staff in the Vision for Change strategy,” he said. 

According to the National Suicide Research Foundation, the average rate of suicide in Limerick city was 23.7 per 100,000 between 2014 and 2016. 

“It is both shocking and upsetting that the suicide rate for Limerick city is more than twice the national average which stands at 10.5. The sad reality is that without adequate resources and the provision of proper services for those in acute mental distress, the figures for death by suicide and self-harm will only continue to increase.”

Deputy Quinlivan commended Jigsaw Limerick and Limerick Suicide Watch for its efforts locally.