Suicide awareness groups have urged the Department of Health to fill all of the 400 new jobs which were promised this year in the mental health sector.
It has emerged that just over 10% have been filled so far.
The Department says it expects all of the posts will be taken up by the end of January.
It was intended that 414 new mental health workers would be in place by the end of this year, but the Department acknowledged that just 54 have taken up their posts and another 270 are waiting to start.
Advocacy groups such as Mental Health Reform are urging the posts to be filled as matter of urgency.
The director of the organisation Orla Barry, said the jobs form the bedrock of a newly reformed mental health sector.
Minister of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch said the jobs are getting filled as quickly as possible and it is expected they all will be filled by the end of January.
She also said an additional €35m has been allocated for mental health services for 2013.
Sinn Féin has called on the minister to ensure that funding does not get diverted elsewhere.