An Oireachtas Committee report on the Future of Mental Healthcare has recommended the possibility of special payments for psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists to address recruitment and retention difficulties.

The report calls for the number of acute beds to be more than doubled over the next three years from 22 to 50 per 100,000, reaching the European average (which is close to 70) in a further two years.

To address particular difficulties in recruiting certain roles, the report said the Government should examine the possibility of special allowances for psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists.

Committee chairperson Senator Joan Freeman said a lack of funding remains arguably the biggest obstacle to an effective mental health service.

The committee also recommended that a national protocol for the use of smartphones and social media be developed, with relevant stakeholders including schools, parents and young people.

And it said that a "no wrong door" approach should be embedded in Irish health services so that the onus is on services to ensure treatment for people presenting with problems.

The aim of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Healthcare is to set out an agreed single, long-term vision for mental healthcare in Ireland.

Launching the report at Leinster House, Senator Freeman said a lack of funding remains arguably the biggest obstacle to an effective mental health service.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association has welcomed the committee's recommendations.

Speaking at the report's launch, PNA general secretary Peter Hughes said there are 700 nursing vacancies in the sector, up from 500 last November.

He also said it was "totally unacceptable" that children were being treated in adult units.