18 Jan 2022

Cllr Doyle: Finance Minister's offering to mental health services does not go far enough

Cllr Doyle: Finance Minister's offering to mental health service does not go far enough

Cllr Emmet Doyle: "Mental health services must be fully funded to support all those who require help throughout their lives."

Aontú councillor, Emmet Doyle, has called on Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, to provide 100 per cent of funding required to transform mental health services in the North.

Cllr Doyle, who represents the Ballyarnett ward, said that while the funding provided thus far is a start, more assistance is required from the Department of Finance.

Last month, the Minister unveiled a draft budget that sought to address and prioritise health and social care but Cllr Doyle insisted that what has been offered falls way short of what is required to help mental health services in Derry and the North.

He said: “The mental health strategy was accompanied by a detailed funding plan that outlined the need for no less than £120m per year to transform mental health services.

“Support organisations supported by the mental health champion (Professor Siobhan O’Neill) all called for the Executive to provide all the funding needed.

“The Finance Minister provided less than £80million. While this is a start, it is far short of what is required and what the sector called for and what I worked towards in forming the mental health working group at Council.

“Mental health services must be fully funded to support all those who require help throughout their lives especially when we know waiting lists are rising and the pandemic will have negatively impacted people’s lives.

“It is for the Executive to deliver and they must now demonstrate they can.”

In response, Finance Minister, Conor Murphy said: “The Executive has previously committed to prioritising health and bringing down waiting lists.

“Therefore the draft Budget proposes prioritising health by providing additional resources to ensure the bids for the Elective Care (waiting lists), Cancer and Mental Health rebuild strategies are met in full.

“A health budget of £21 billion over the next three years provides a long-awaited opportunity for long-term planning, reforming service delivery, and tackling waiting lists on a sustainable basis.”

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