Longford-Westmeath TD says "emergency response" is needed to tackle State's mental health crisis

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Longford Westmeath Sinn Féin TD Sorca Clarke  says Commission must address Defence Forces working conditions and poor pay

Longford Westmeath Sinn Féin TD Sorca Clarke

Sinn Féin TD for Longford-Westmeath, Sorca Clarke, has urged cross-party support for Sinn Féin’s motion calling for an emergency response to the accelerating mental health crisis, which will be heard in the Dáil later today.

 

Pre-pandemic mental health waiting lists have been well documented, but the avalanche of depression, isolation, loneliness and anxiety since the onset of Covid-19 has overwhelmed services.

Ms Clarke said there was no denying the importance of swift and immediate measures to be brought in to try and tackle the issue.

“Sinn Féin has engaged with service providers, service users and advocacy groups locally and nationally. What we are witnessing here in Longford-Westmeath is being mirrored across the state - alarming increases in depression, isolation, loneliness and anxiety," she said.

“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, access to mental health services has gone from a crisis to an emergency. Pre-pandemic, mental health care waiting lists within the public system were at crisis levels but are now at unprecedented emergency levels.

“Now more than ever we need to ensure that mental health services are accessible for all those who need them. Nobody should be left behind.

“There are extraordinary pressures on mental health services, which have suffered years of underinvestment and, as a result, are wholly unprepared and under-resourced to deal with this emergency.