Funding from the €35 million special allocation for mental health will be used primarily to further strengthen Community Mental Health Teams in both Adult and Children’s mental health services in respect of which €25 million has been estimated. Up to €3 million of the fund will be used to advance activities in the area of suicide prevention and a cost of €5 million has been estimated to initiate the provision of psychological and counselling services in primary care, specifically for people with mental health problems. The remaining €2 million will be made available to facilitate the re-location of mental health service users from institutional care to more independent living arrangements in their communities, in line with A Vision for Change.
414 posts were approved to implement the €35 million package of special measures for mental health. 378 of the posts are with the National Recruitment Service of the HSE at various stages in the recruitment process and over 200 offers of employment have already been accepted and the appointments are proceeding. Most start dates are expected to be in December 2012 to allow for the process of checking references etc. and costs will start to be incurred from that point. The Government remains committed to engaging these professionals as soon as is feasible and the work of completing the process remains a priority.
The provisional outturn for mental health services to mid-year was, like many other areas, running ahead of budget and the end of year excess in this area will be met from the unexpended portion of the €35 million. The full year costs of all of the above measures will be incurred from 2013 onwards.