Written Answers. - Funding for Peer Counselling.

Mary Wallace

Ceist:

269 Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Health the funding he will make available for peer counselling for people with disabilities following the successful piloting of such a service by the Irish Wheelchair Association under the HORIZON project. [16910/96]

Limerick East): The Irish Wheelchair Association is currently receiving EU funding under the HORIZON (Disabled) Programme for a Peer Counselling Programme. This pilot project which commenced in January 1996 is due for completion in December 1997. The Deputy will appreciate that as the project is in its early stages I am not in a position to comment on future funding at this point in time. I might add, however, that funding for peer counselling is currently being provided by the Eastern Health Board which provides an annual grant of £10,000 towards the service. The Irish Wheelchair Association is also involved in preliminary discussions with the remaining health boards with a view to providing peer counselling services on a nationwide basis.