Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (186)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin


186. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health the way the ring fenced €35m for mental health was spent in 2012; the way the 2013 allocation will be spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56176/12]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Funding from the €35 million special provision for mental health in 2012 was allocated for measures primarily to further strengthen Community Mental Health Teams in both Adult and Children’s mental health services, to advance activities in the area of suicide prevention, to initiate the provision of psychological and counselling services in primary care, specifically for people with mental health problems and 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. To date 17 posts have been filled and over 270 offers of employment have already been accepted and the appointments are proceeding. Most start dates are expected to commence this month.

The provisional outturn for mental health services has, like many other areas, been running ahead of budget and the end of year excess in this area will be met from the unexpended portion of the €35 million. It is not possible to say yet exactly how much of the €35 million will be spent on mental health services by the end of this financial year. Budget 2013 provides a further €35 million for the continued development of our mental health services and I will be engaging fully with the Health Service Executive to ensure that the developments to be put in place for this additional funding are reflected in the National Service Plan for 2013.