South Donegal election candidate targets local mental health services

Martin Kenny has said that Sinn Féin in government would tackle huge deficiencies

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Deputy Martin Kenny

Sinn Féin TD and general election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Martin Kenny has said that Sinn Féin in government would tackle, head-on, huge deficiencies that exist in local mental health services.

 “No longer should the provision of mental health services be obstructed by backward thinking or by stigma," he said.

 “Unfortunately, I have seen huge problems in mental health services in my own constituency, resulting in severe difficulties for patients and their families.

 “Currently we have very ’ad hoc’ primary care services. We don’t have the services available to people when and where they need it.

 “I have witnessed retiring social workers not being replaced. That is unacceptable and has real-life, dangerous consequences.

 “Most worryingly, we have people with severe mental health episodes being turned away from hospital.

 “Last year I raised with the Minister of State, Jim Daly, the case of a man who was in the middle of a severe psychotic episode but who was turned away from St. Columba's psychiatric hospital in Sligo.

 “This was one case, but there are numerous others, sometimes involving young adolescents and children. They find that there are huge holes in the service.

 "Sinn Féin wants to transform mental health care. To do that we will put in place strategies that work and, crucially, we will back these strategies with the appropriate level of resources.

 “It’s time that we rose to the challenge of the mental health issues facing many within our community. Sinn Féin is committed to doing this.”

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