Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has called on the Government and the Minister for Health to prioritise the roll out of 24 /7 crisis intervention services for all those living with mental health problems.

The Sinn Féin TD said that if we are really serious about building an inclusive republic we need to put in place supports and facilities that will provide help all year round for those enduring mental health problems, and not just during office hours as is currently happening.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Vulnerable citizens with mental health problems need 24/7 crisis intervention services but currently there is no plan or proposals to introduce these vital supports. Unfortunately people don’t just get sick during working hours or during the working week and supports outside those hours and days are practically non-existent.

“Access to mental health services is extremely limited at the best of times but even rarer at the weekends or after 5pm. Families of loved ones experiencing difficulties have little option but to go to the nearest hospital Accident & Emergency where queues and a long wait for medical supports can add further pressure to the individual.

“Clearly the current haphazard system is not working and needs to be prioritised for those currently excluded from intervention services because location or lack of staff available.

“We need to take action before we inflict lasting damage on children and parents. The State needs a joined-up, family focused approach to better support families dealing with mental health difficulties.

“If we are really serious about an inclusive republic we need to put in place supports and facilities that will provide help to those with mental health problems all year round.

“Access and availability of services locally and in our communities needs to be resourced properly. The work being done on mental health by voluntary groups and individuals are saving this country a fortune and more importantly saving lives.

“We owe a huge depth of gratitude to all those who give their time, energy, and commitment to supporting those unfortunate individuals who endure mental health problems.

“At the moment there is a huge deficit in our health system particularly at weekends or after hours on a weekday.

“A 24/7 crisis intervention services for those with mental health is needed immediately.”