More Died From Suicide in August than from Covid, Yet Services remain Unopen
At a meeting of Party Leaders this week, Aontú leader and Meath West TD, Peadar Tóibín TD called on the Taoiseach, the Minister for Health and the Head of the HSE directly for the full recommencement of Mental health services in Ireland immediately.
He stated “Covid-19 has had a massive negative effect on the mental health of the nation. Accounts from mental health professionals have attested to a significant increase in both new and recurring patients with aggravated mental health concerns. Shockingly more people have died from suicide in August than from Covid-19. Yet mental health services are not near functioning at normal levels. Face to face counselling is not happening in many scenarios.
Speaking directly to the Taoiseach, the Minister for Health and the Head of the HSE on Monday Deputy Tóibín asked why at this critical time had the state stopped collecting data on suicide and self-harm. He asked when the collection of this data recommenced and what was the comparative data. 3 days later the information still has not been provided.
“The government’s approach to this crisis is to treat mental health services as an add-on to essential services or a less than essential service. Mental health services are just as important and just as life-saving as physical health services. The government has boasted of additional funding to fight Covid-19, but we has remained blind to non Covid health crisis. The government needs to treat each challenge with the concern it deserves and provide resources they require.”