Additional €10 million funding for mental health services

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Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler has confirmed that she has secured an additional €10 million in funding for mental health services through the Revised Estimates process.

The focus of this new 2024 investment funding is in the area of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). This additional funding will support further recruitment into our CAMHS services and funding for other services for children and young people, which emphasise prevention and early intervention mental health supports. The funding will also support the further roll-out of the National Clinical Programmes for mental health services.

Minister Butler, said, “Improving access to child and youth mental health services, and addressing CAMHS waiting lists, is a key priority for me. The additional €10 million in funding that I have secured for mental health will be focused on improving access to services, better integration between services and embedding innovative service models. Last year, we saw more children and young people seen by CAMHS teams, and my focus is on making sure this continues with more children being seen more quickly by the most appropriate service to their needs.

“Increased investment is having a real impact. There were 12% more CAMHS appointments offered to children and young people last year. Our waiting list for CAMHS services continues to fall, with nearly 500 fewer children waiting by the end of last year.  Additional funding this year will see more people working across CAMHS, with young people being seen more quickly.

“My focus now is to expand CAMHS service delivery, as well as wider services for young people, and to expand the roll-out of our excellent National Clinical Programmes such as ADHD in Adults, Early Intervention in Psychosis and Eating Disorders to more areas of the country.

“I have requested the HSE to develop proposals for the additional funding to advance these areas, and am pleased to confirm that there will be additional staff for CAMHS hubs, CAMHS Crisis Cafés, CAMHS Emergency Department Liaison posts, investment in a new single point of access to children’s services, investment in a full electronic health record for all CAMHS teams nationally, and additional funding to allow Foróige and Jigsaw to develop mental health services in primary care and community services, which focus on prevention and early intervention mental health supports. I will also be ensuring that funding allocations are geographically spread to areas of the country which have higher levels of need and where teams under our National Clinical Programmes have yet to be established”.

The Department of Health said the additional €10 million confirmed by Minister Butler was in addition to Budget 2024 funding for 68 posts for CAMHS and child and youth mental health. “Taken together, these posts will strengthen CAMHS teams nationwide, enhance CAMHS Hub teams and develop key clinical care programmes such as early intervention in psychosis, eating disorders, and dual diagnosis.

“This represents an increased additional investment of €12.7 million developmental funding for mental health services in 2024. Government investment in mental health services is substantial: this year, the total allocation for mental health services is over €1.3 billion for mental health services, a record funding level and an increase of over €250 million since 2020 when Minister Butler took up office.”

community mental health team, or access to more specialist services, up to an including inpatient and residential supports.