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€10m allocated for mental health services during COVID 'not yet spent'

Some €10m allocated for better mental health services during COVID-19 has remained unspent. Adv...
Paul O'Donoghue
Paul O'Donoghue

21.46 22 Sep 2021


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€10m allocated for mental heal...

€10m allocated for mental health services during COVID 'not yet spent'

Paul O'Donoghue
Paul O'Donoghue

21.46 22 Sep 2021


Share this article


Some €10m allocated for better mental health services during COVID-19 has remained unspent.

Advocates say it comes as Ireland's mental health supports are seriously underfunded.

As the country went into lockdown at the start of the year, demand for mental health services soared.

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There was a surge in areas such as referrals for eating disorder treatment.

To cope, in February the Government announced €10m would be allocated to mental health supports.

But seven months on, Mental Health Reform CEO Fiona Coyle says this money still has not been spent.

She told the Oireachtas Health Committee: "The 10 million announced in February 2021 for mental health impact of COVID-19 has not yet been spent.

"This funding must be ringfenced and proposed initiatives in place by the end of this year".

Bernadette Grogan, a policy coordinator from the same organisation, says the €10m must be separate from any new mental health funding in the upcoming budget.

"We would be concerned that that 10 million for COVID initiatives is spent and is progressed separately from whatever other measures are coming forward in Budget 2022.

"We're calling for an additional 85 million".

The Government has said the funding will start being used sometime in the last three months of the year.

Main image: A bed at is seen at a hospital in Liverpool, England in 2014. Picture by: Lynne Cameron/PA Archive/PA Images

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