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MHR: "HSE plans for mental health services at risk without adequate staffing"

Yesterday the HSE published its Service Plan for 2015, which sets out commitments to invest €35 million in community-based mental health services, 24/7 crisis responses, suicide prevention and mental health promotion.

While Mental Health Reform has welcomed these commitments, the HSE’s ability to provide people in mental and emotional distress with the support they need depends on having skilled staff in place. There are currently less than three-quarters of the staff needed to deliver the Government's mental health policy. That's why we are calling on the Minister for Health to urgently address the problems with recruitment and retention of mental health staff.

For more, see our full press release and Snapshot Analysis of the Service Plan. 
MHR meets Minister Kathleen Lynch 

Earlier this month, Mental Health Reform met with Minister for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch TD, to discuss concerns that have been raised with us throughout the year about mental health services.

We shared feedback from our 2014 public consultation meetings and online survey, in particular:
  • lack of access to 24/7 crisis intervention services, and having to go to A&E 
  • lack of consistency in terms of mental health staff
Through our meetings and survey, we heard the impact these gaps are having on people:
"They need to change the environment (of A&E) to make it more friendly for people in distress. All it does is compound their difficulties.” 
"Seeing a different psychiatrist every time and having to tell my story and needs afresh is totally unhelpful and soul destroying.” 

MHR raised the need for 24/7 crisis supports to be in next year's HSE Service Plan and we welcome the fact that there is a commitment in the Plan to build the capacity for 24/7 contact and response by mental health services.

Announcing First Fortnight 2015!

The First Fortnight arts and mental health festival is back and Mental Health Reform is proud to be a festival partner again.

The 2015 programme includes music, film, theatre, spoken word, debate and visual art events. Mental Health Reform is sponsoring two events as part of the festival and we hope to see you there!

Sunday 4th January 2pm, St Stephen's Green: Co-Motion, a musical walking experience.Bring four songs that mean something to you and prepare to share them! More details

Friday 9th January evening, Dublin city, venue to be confirmed, a discussion evening in association with the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists (IACAT) with talks on music and art therapy and recovery.

For more information, see

Volunteering at the festival: If you'd like to help out at the Mental Health Reform events on 4th and 9th January, let us know. You can contact Lara on
Mental Health Reform

Coleraine House
Coleraine Street
Dublin 7

(01) 874 9468
Meeting with Inspector of Mental Health Services

In November, Mental Health Reform also met with the Acting Inspector of Mental Health Services Dr Susan Finnerty. We highlighted some of the positive and negative feedback people have given MHR in 2014 on mental health services:

  • the impact of the hopeful attitude of supportive individual staff members
  • the range of voluntary sector supports that are available
  • inadequate crisis intervention services for people in mental or emotional distress
  • an overuse of medication and lack of access to other choices of treatments/therapies
  • waiting times for occupational therapy, psychology and social work supports
Mental Health Reform also raised the need for culturally sensitive mental health services to meet the needs of people from ethnic minorities, including the Travelling community. You can read more about this part of our work here.
Information on services and supports is just a click away...

MHR's website is an online directory of the mental health services and supports offered by our 48 member organisations.

Whether you are looking for helplines or support groups, information on housing, benefits, inpatient treatment or recovery, we hope that will help answer your questions. 

The #LittleThings that help

The new website has been developed with the support of the National Office for Suicide Prevention and offers a comprehensive online directory of support services and information on mental health in Ireland.

It also gives information about mental health, and how to support yourself and the people you care about. In addition, there is now one single emotional support freephone number, available at all times, from the Samaritans at 116 123. 

Check out the site and see what little things can make a big difference to how you feel.
Mental Health Reform is seeking your support to keep up a strong voice on mental health issues. Please consider organising a Christmas fundraising event in your local area to support MHR’s continued advocacy for better mental health services and social supports.

Contact Lara by email on or by phone on (01) 8749468, check out our MyCharity page or simply donate here.

We're grateful for all the fundraising support we've received throughout 2014, from Student Unions, runners, pub quizzers and everyone else. Thank you!
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