Amnesty Launches Campaign to Tackle Underfunding to Irish Mental Health Services

Amnesty has launched a major campaign to address the underfunding of mental health services in Ireland and to convince the Irish Government to be more transparent about how it allocates funding to this area.

Amnesty launched the campaign in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin on the 15 June, just as the minister in charge of health, John Moloney, admitted that some of the 51 million euros allocated for mental health services reform has in fact been spent elsewhere. "Yes... funding already committed to the mental health reform programme... has been consumed by other services," Mr Moloney admitted, "but this Government will not hide behind this recession." The Minister went on to deny however that this re-allocation of funds had led to any deteriation of standards in service.

Amnesty wants parts of the Mental Health Act reviewed as well as a concerted effort to provide the highest standard of care possible in the field. The campaign has five key objectives, which include a clearly defined timetable for the Government's implementation of its own "Vision for Change" strategy, as well as a greater degree of financial transparency and accountability from both government and the HSE.

Amnesty says that Irish mental health services are dominated by a "one-dimensional response and medication is frequently the only treatment available".  Speaking of the campaign, Amnesty International Ireland's Executive Director, Colm O'Gorman, said: "mental health is continually neglected by the Government and yet evidence shows we cannot afford not to address the issue."

 Click on the logo below to visit the Amnesty Mental Health Campaign website.