Budget 2019 made allowance for an additional €55 million for mental health services, to build on existing services. This comprised €20 million continuing cost in 2019 of developments initiated in 2018, combined with €35 million for further new developments.
To date, the HSE has requested allocation of €40.246 million of this funding, which has been approved. In addition, €3 million has been paid to Pobal for the Community Mental Health Fund. An amount of €11.754 million remains under consideration.
The new development investment has enabled the HSE Mental Health Services to progress initiatives agreed in the National Service Plan 2019. Initiatives such as e-mental health pilot programmes and an annual increase in psychiatric nurse undergraduate places continue to be developed and implemented with this funding. The relocation of the National Forensic Mental Health Service to Portrane is another significant investment undertaken by HSE Mental Health Services.
Budget 2020 saw the Government continue this commitment to mental health by increasing funding by €39m to €1.026bn. This represents an increase of over €315 million since 2012, or 45%.
This significant additional Government funding has provided for over 1,800 new development posts for mental health services, including CAMHS. Enhancement of the specialist CAMHS service, including improving access and reducing waiting lists, remains a priority for the Government. We have reduced the CAMHS waiting list by around 500 since December 2018, to around 2,000 today.