The CEO of Mental Health Reform has called for the Government to follow up on its commitment to invest an additional €10 million into mental health services, as it hasn't yet been allocated and she said she is concerned that it will be lost.
Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, Fiona Coyle said there is over 2,730 children waiting to be seen by the Mental Health services.
She called for the creation of a Senior Director Level position for Mental Health within the HSE, who reports to the CEO, that "drives forward the reform that's needed to put in place services that people deserve around the country".
She said in the crisis is most apparent in primary care, where there are over 10,000 people waiting for primary care psychology appointments, half of whom have been there for over a year, and that's "a serious build-up".
She said there are also long waiting lists in the children and adolescent mental health services.
She said the pandemic has exposed deficits in the mental health system that needs to be addressed and she's calling on the Government to address that deficit in the coming budget.
She said there are several national clinical programmes, such as the eating disorder programmes or the early intervention psychosis and these have models of care ready to be rolled out across the country, which could be scaled up to get people the specialised support they need at the earliest possible stage.
She said Ireland is far behind its own target of 10% spend on mental health, as the spend is currently 5% of the total budget on this sector.