A report by Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health in Ireland, has found strong public support for increased State investment in mental health services.

A survey carried out by the coalition found that 84% of respondents thought that the health service places too little focus on mental health.

The study found the public are willing to invest more in mental healthcare when compared to other related healthcare programmes.

Mental Health Reform says staffing in mental health services is lower now than it was in 2008 and it is calling on the Government to boost investment in the area.

The organisation says that even with Government investment of over €200m between 2012 and 2018, the system cannot cope with the number of people looking for support.

It says that in May of this year, over 6,500 children and young people were waiting for their first psychological appointment.

Mental Health Reform Director Dr Shari McDaid said she understood the Minister for Health had difficult decisions to make when it came to allocating funding, but added that investment in mental health has a positive knock on effect in other areas.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said: "The fact is, that if we invested in our mental health service, it would reduce costs throughout the health service because a lot of other health conditions are exacerbated by not having the mental health care in place.

"Next year we're asking that the Government invest €105 million. If the Government wants to find the funding, they can, and they will recognise that it's a good investment."