‘Support mental health needs in the north side’ says Senator

by Dublin Gazette
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A Senator has called on the HSE and the Minister for Health to commit to providing mental health services on the north side of the city.

The calls come after it was revealed that there were attempts made to withdraw and suspend community mental health services in Raheny, Donaghmede, Edenmore and Kilbarrack.

A northside GP posted a notice from the HSE on Twitter on Friday morning which said: “I regret to inform you that due to the high referral numbers the service of primary care mental health has been suspended in Raheny/Donaghmede/Edenmore and Kilbarrack until later in the year.”

The HSE’s Community Health Organisation section in Dublin north city and county were then forced to release an apology, citing that information in the letter was incorrect, confirming that mental health services in Kilbarrack had not been affected.

Labour Party Senator Aodhan O Riordain has said that the HSE apology does not make clear what it is doing to provide extra services to meet demand, with a recruitment embargo currently in place.

He said: “It is frankly unbelievable that less than a week after the Darkness Into Light walk [for Pieta House], a vital northside service would be suspended purely because it so badly needed.

“It’s clear from the rapid u-turn that there was political intervention to reverse this.

“It still doesn’t address the fact however that there are not enough services to meet demand. No extra facilities are being provided.

“The Government needs to clarify this situation urgently as to what they will do to meet demand.

“There is a recruitment moratorium in place in the HSE so it would appear there will be no efforts to provide additional vital mental health supports in these northside areas.”

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