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Kathleen Lynch: 'I've visited mental health centres, there are very few issues'

The Mental Health Minister said occasionally wards would be full when beds were free.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A MINISTER HAS played down fears of a crisis in Ireland’s mental health services, saying that conditions are always “very good” whenever she visits.

Kathleen Lynch, who has responsibility for mental health, has said that she has made several unannounced visits to centres and the service has “always been excellent”.

“I take my hat off to the people who work in the services,” she told RTÉ’s Saturday with Brian Dowling.

The only issue encountered, she said, was occasionally a unit would be full when there were beds available.

“The official report doesn’t always match what you see,” the Minister said.

Earlier this week it was announced that €35 million in funding would be allocated to mental health services.

There has been criticised that action the Government has taken will not be enough.

Speaking earlier this month, Conor Cusack said that “politicians haven’t yet grasped the severity of this issue in our country”.

A lack of consultants is pushing many acute hospital departments and mental health services to the ‘brink of collapse’, the profession’s representative association said in October.

A recent Mental Health Commission report slammed the Government to a failure to end the practice of placing children in adult physicality wards. Minister Lynch said “there will always be” cases where children must be placed in adult units.

Read: The High Court has ordered 17 children be detained in special care units >

Varadkar: Running health service is like feeding the 5,000 with loaves and fish >

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Nicky Ryan

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