Deputy Pearse Doherty said there needs to be changes in attitudes towards mental health needed at highest level of policy making and governance.
He spokes as he welcomed the second stage passing of the Mental Health Parity of Esteem Bill in the Dáil.
This piece of legislation will put mental health treatment at the same level of importance as physical health.
Deputy Doherty said “This is a Bill of hope and a vitally important piece of legislation that will elevate the plight of people seeking mental health supports to the forefront.
“We see here in our own county in Donegal how people have struggled to access Mental Health services in the county. We have seen how the volunteers and organisations that provide such services have been inundated and are struggling to cope.
“This Bill puts Mental Health front and centre again and will compel a change in attitudes towards mental health at the highest level of policy making and governance.”
“This Bill will place a duty on the Minister for Health to promote health parity, and to ensure all organisations within our health system meet parity obligations in relation to mental health.”
He added mental health problems do not just happen between Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 to 5 and disappear at other times.
“We need access to a comprehensive 24/7 mental health service to address the systemic failures in our mental health system. Experts at the Covid committee described the mental health services as being out of date and not fit for purpose.
“Sinn Féin has engaged with numerous stakeholders who have endorsed this Bill, including the Mental Health Commission, Mental Health Reform, and the independent chair for Sharing the Vision National Implementation and Monitoring Committee, John Saunders.
“The Mental Health Parity of Esteem Bill aims to offer hope for better mental health care by ensuring that vulnerable persons with mental illness are cared for efficiently, when needed, and on parity of esteem with physical health and I welcome its passing this week in the Dáil. The Government now needs to move to facilitate the next steps so that this Bill can become law.”Tags: