Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
210. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will outline the specialist mental health services that exist to cater for older persons and persons with intellectual disabilities; his plans to increase and develop the provision of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12918/11]
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): This Government is committed to the development of our mental health services in line with A Vision for Change. In this regard the Government will reform our model of healthcare delivery so that more care is delivered in the community; access to modern mental health services in the community will therefore be significantly improved. It is proposed to ringfence €35 million annually from within the health budget to develop community mental health teams and services to ensure early access to more appropriate services for both adults and children.
There are currently 41 consultant psychiatrists with a special interest in psychiatry of later life. At this time four areas await the provision of a specialist old age team — Roscommon, Kerry, Kildare and parts of Co. Cork.
Executive Clinical Directors are working to reconfigure existing resources to create the full spectrum of Specialist Mental Health Teams.Guided by the recommendations of A Vision for Change the priority is to ensure access to specialist mental health for older persons and to expand the team membership to include all recommended disciplines: Psychiatry, Psychology, Social Work, Occupational Therapy and Nursing.
In relation to the mental health needs of individuals with a disability, the HSE continues to disaggregate mental health and learning disability services with specialist service providers creating more appropriate care programmes for individuals with learning disability. For individuals with dual diagnosis who require acute psychiatric care the HSE has developed a strategy in collaboration with voluntary and independent providers and this work is continuing.
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