November 29, 2012 by John Buckley
This morning I woke up and read that the ‘The country is broke’. Obviously this is not something I didn’t know before. But it was said in the context of potential funding cuts to mental health service, many of which don’t have the capacity to deal with the prevalence of mental illness in Ireland. Some of whom are still rooted in the old model, not in the new model of community integrated care.
Does ‘The Vision for Change’ mean nothing to the Government. Does the governments own programme, the yard stick by which they asked us to measure them mean nothing? And I quote:
Ring-fenced funding will be provided to recruit additional psychologists and counsellors to community mental health teams, working closely with primary care teams to ensure early intervention, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and detect and treat people who are at risk of suicide.
‘The country is broke’ has led to a few thing happening for our European neighbours in Greece. There’s been a huge increase in the number of suicide attempts and also a 40% increase in completed suicides from 2010 to 2011.
This is not a coincidence that this increase in coinciding with the huge economic struggle being faced by the Greek people. Yes, I know we’re not Greece, but as Mental Health Reform says, we can’t drop the ball.
Speaking from a capitalist perspective, the greatest assest that Ireland has is it’s people. We are the ones who have created this country, we are the ones who shape it’s future. We are the ones with power, and we have accorded this power, via the democratic process to public representatives. All of us has a responsibility if this power is not being used as we, the citizens of this country, see fit and right.
From a human perspective every TD and Senator in the Oireachtas knows the face of suicide. They themselves will know someone who has died. We all do. Even if we are broke, there are things that transcend money, power, ideologies, political points of view. These things are us, people, our health our wellbeing. Without us, Ireland is nothing.
I call on every citizen and public representative not to forget this when considering cuts to mental health budgets.