Mental Health Ireland: "Funding for mental health needs to be made secure."

Previously ringfaced funding is now to be used elsewhere

Mental health campaigners say it's appalling that money ring fenced for spending on services is to be used elsewhere.

The Department of Health and the HSE is planning to divert €12 million from the €35 million mental health fund to other areas.

The Labour Minister of State Kathleen Lynch has called on the Department to keep resources in place at least until a new Government is formed.

Dr Shari McDaid from Mental Health Ireland says the funding the area was given needs to be secure: "We know there's huge demand for mental health services, and so it is really a serious concern. There's a huge pressure on the mental health services. We know that about 1 in 4 people will have a mental health difficulty in their lifetime. It's just not going to be able to meet that demand if the services just aren't given the secure funding."

Sinn Féin's calling on the Acting Health Minister to make an immediate statement today about the future of funding for mental health services.

Dublin Fingal TD Louise O'Reilly says it's a case of 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' and Leo Varadkar must explain himself without delay:

Founder of Cycle Against Suicide Jim Breen says Ireland is already way behind when it comes to how much we spend on mental health services: "We don't have a clear strategy, joined-up thinking, around what we need to be doing to promote positive mental and well-being in Ireland, and that's a fact. As people are listening to the messages behind our campaign, that it's okay not to be okay, and as they reach out for help they discover that the systems are just not there to give them the help that they need."