Mental Health And Addiction

  1. Promote Community-Based Mental Health Services. Paul supports transitioning mental health services away from institutions and into community-based programs that can better support the individuals who suffer from mental health challenges. By creating a community-centered approach to mental health, individuals can receive more responsive care close to their homes and public funds can be deployed more flexibly and efficiently.
  2. Integrate and Streamline Government Related Mental Health Services. Paul supports finding ways to remove bureaucratic red tape that stands in the way of allowing different government agencies to communicate and cooperate when assisting individuals with mental health challenges. Allowing multiple agencies with different strengths and areas of expertise to align their services will generate better outcomes in the future.
  3. Create a Public-Private Partnership to Improve Mental Health Services. Paul supports a combined effort by government, non-government, private and community-based agencies to create a partnership that allows agencies currently competing for limited funds to assist each other and share resources in a fashion that benefits individuals with mental health challenges and the public as a whole. Where every community has different needs, non-government organizations can craft unique solutions that can be assisted by the HSE and their broad-reaching authority.
  4. Provide Adequate Funding to Meet Mental Health Service Demands. Paul supports dramatically increasing the funding made available by Ireland’s government to treat the mental health epidemic that plagues our nation. The amount of money that could be recovered from drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, homeless relief and housing costs, as well as incarceration costs, were individuals with mental health challenges treated adequately would outweigh the cost of additional funding for appropriate services.
  5. Audit Current Spending Related to Mental Health Services. Paul supports conducting a full and complete audit of current spending on mental health services to ensure that funds are prioritized and targeted at areas that provide the greatest return on Ireland’s public investments. Waste, fraud and abuse of those funds should be eliminated, redundancies corrected, and funding gaps filled. This will mean more funds will be available to help those in need of the mental health services provided.
  6. Recognize Drug and Alcohol Abuse as a Mental Health Challenge and Take Action. Paul supports creating a national campaign to recognize the mental health roots and mental health effects of drug and alcohol addiction in Ireland. Paul also supports taking actionable steps to assist individuals who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction, including reversing austerity cuts related to treatment and counseling. Click here to read the National Drug Strategy Action Plan


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Paul Clarke, Independent