The country's largest independent mental health service has said the State is not adequately supporting people experiencing mental health difficulties.

In a five-year strategy launched today, St Patrick's Mental Health Services pointed out that only a small number of mental health providers fully comply with quality standards laid down by the regulator, the Mental Health Commission.

St Patrick's - a not-for-profit organisation - said the rights of those facing mental health difficulties to receive appropriate services and supports are not adequately enshrined in either legislation or policy.

Responding, Minister of State for Mental Health Jim Daly said funding increases in recent years have been unparalleled in other parts of the health service.

In the past month, the Mental Health Commission has highlighted major failings in our public mental health services.

The watchdog warned that over 1,000 residents of community homes are being put at risk by the Government's failure to regulate them.

It also exposed overcrowding and poor services for patients in a number of in-patient treatment centres, 
highlighting the extreme bedsores being endured by patients in St Otteran's in Waterford and other patients sleeping on mattresses placed on floors in St Luke's in Kilkenny.