The €37 million additional budget allocation to mental health could help “begin to address” the lack of services for children impacted their parents’ problem use, according to Alcohol Action.
Reacting to the budget, the organisation said: “Alcohol Action welcome Minister McGrath’s indication of additional funding – €37m – to enhance public mental health services and hope that it will begin to address the chronic lack of timely services for children who require psychology interventions, many who have been impacted by the trauma of parental problem alcohol use in their lives.”
It also said it welcomes “that government has not acquiesced to the pressure from alcohol producers to reduce excise duties on alcohol products, which simply would have enhanced affordability of alcohol”.
Among the expenditure for mental health will be €1.15 million for the National Clinical Programme for eating disorders which Minister Mary Butler would ensure continued roll-out of specialist eating disorder teams across the country.
Chief executive of Spunout, Ian Power, said: “We very much welcome the additional allocation of funding to clinical mental health programmes, especially eating disorders and out-of-hours alternatives to people in crisis attending hospital emergency departments. However, spending the money allocated to mental health is getting harder and harder each year due to a shortage of qualified mental health professionals.”
He continued: “We need to dramatically increase the training places for mental health professionals across psychology, psychiatry, mental health nursing and other related mental health therapy professionals.
Until we expand the mental health workforce, we'll continue to face difficulties recruiting, and ultimately in improving the availability and accessibility of mental health services."