Vital mental health services to remain in Clondalkin

by Padraig Conlon
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Vital mental health services will remain in Clondalkin following a HSE decision against relocating outside the local area.

In March, serious concerns were raised after the HSE proposed moving the Community Adult Mental Health Team to Glenabbey in Tallaght because they deemed the unit in Clondalkin village not fit for purpose.

Local councillors passed a motion at that month’s meeting of Clondalkin Area Committee requesting the services remain in the area.

It was argued that even a temporary move would be very difficult for local service users, particularly those with dual diagnosis.

In May, Sinn Fein TD Eoin Ó Broin raised the matter in the Dail when he asked the Minister for Health if funding was available from the HSE for the refurbishment of the new premises for the Clondalkin adult mental health service.

In response to Deputy Ó Broin, Karen Brady, Head of Mental Health, recently confirmed the HSE would not be moving the service out of the local area.

“The proposer of the project is currently in the process of concluding the purchase of the building and tendering the project,” she said.

“Once this is confirmed, the HSE will enter into the agreement for lease.

“The commencement of the works at Steeple are dependent on the proposer closing out the purchase and tendering.

“Therefore, at this time, the HSE cannot confirm any commencement date or completion date for works.”

Eoin Ó Broin TD has welcomed the confirmation.

“I was delighted to receive confirmation from the HSE that the relocation of Clondalkin Adult Mental Health Services has been averted and the service is to remain in Clondalkin,” he said.

“Quite understandably, the possibility that the service might be lost to Tallaght was met with deep concern throughout the area, particularly for clients of the service and their families.

“On foot of requests to the HSE to secure a new property, followed up by strong lobbying from service users, the wider community and local politicians, the HSE have now confirmed that a new premises has been identified and approved for funding.

“The service will move to Steeple House, Ninth Lock Road, once the redevelopment of the building has taken place.

“Currently, there is no commencement or completion dates for these works but I intend to keep a close eye on developments.

“Until then, these vital services will remain in situ at Orchard Road, Clondalkin.”

While adult mental health services will remain in the area there is growing concern and anger locally at the proposed closure of a mental health service for young people.

Last Wednesday (10th) a protest of over three hundred people marched through Clondalkin to show their concern and opposition to plans for Jigsaw to amalgamate its Clondalkin and Tallaght offices.

Local People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny, who took part in the protest, said there has been a huge outcry from community groups, organisations and local people about the loss of a full, local service.

“I am very proud of my community in North Clondalkin and the stand they have taken in relation to the loss of vital youth mental health services from the area,” he said.

“I have raised this on several occasions in the Dáil, have written to Jigsaw and met with its representatives in an effort to get them to change their mind about the move.

“In fact, I questioned the Taoiseach on the floor of the Dáil this week about what many see as a potentially disastrous withdrawal of services by a State-funded organisation.

“Research has shown, that people with mental health issues engage with and access help and support much more effectively when the services are in their own locality.

“We have a huge youth population and very high numbers of young people who need access to mental health services.

“I stand with my community in appealing to Jigsaw to reverse the decision to move their operation to Tallaght.”

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