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The additional funding will be used within early intervention in psychosis. Shutterstock
mental health budget

Extra €10m for mental health services to include funding for new eating disorder team

The extra funding has been secured through the Revised Estimates process.

A NEW EATING disorder team are among the measures that will be advanced from an extra €10 million allocation to the mental health budget.

The additional funding has been secured through the Revised Estimates process.

The Revised Estimates Volume is published every year in mid-December and provides more detail on allocations that were announced in the Budget.

Last December, the ceiling for total Government expenditure increase by €85 million as a result.

Budget 2024 saw spending on mental health services rise to €1.3 billion, and the extra €10 million announced today will focus on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and online safety for children.

The funding will also see the recruitment of 68 posts within CAMHS.

Other key measures included in the funding is a new eating disorder team for the HSE’s community health organisation (CHO) covering Kildare/West Wicklow, Dublin West, Dublin South City, Dublin South West.

Eating disorder teams provide outpatient and day programmes, and support people admitted to acute hospitals.

Last month, The Journal reported that no funding was provided over the last six years to open adult eating disorder treatment beds, and that Ireland currently has just three public beds in the entire country which offer specialist treatment for those with eating disorders.

Elsewhere, the additional funding will be used within early intervention in psychosis.

Last week, the HSE’s National Clinical Lead on early intervention in psychosis said around €30 million in additional funding is needed to set up the extra 20 early intervention in psychosis (EIP) teams required to meet the current level of demand.

It’s understood that the funding announced today will go towards establishing an early intervention in psychosis (EIP) teams in north Dublin.

The additional funding announced today will also go towards additional supports for Traveller mental health supports, additional Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurses within CAMHS, and the establishment of two test sites for a “No Wrong Door” approach.

This approach involves having a single point of access to children’s services, such as mental health services, and primary care and disability services.

It is thought that this will help avoid children having multiple referrals and better guide parents to the most appropriate service for their child.

Some €1 million will also be spent on supporting the digital literacy and protection of young people online.

This includes a new national campaign on online safety and the development of digital resources for parents and young people to increase understanding of online harms.

Minister for Mental Health Mary Butler said a key aim of the new funding is to improve access to child and youth mental health service and to enhance specialist mental health care services such as eating disorders.

She added that her focus now is on expanding CAMHS service delivery and also expanding the roll-out of National Clinical Programmes such as ADHD in Adults, Early Intervention in Psychosis and Eating Disorders to more areas of the country.

“I will 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,” said Butler.

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