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Psychiatric Nurses Association general secretary Des Kavanagh Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Clinicians brand mental health report as 'damning indictment' of minister's work

The Psychiatric Nurses Association say that the government’s roadmap for improvements in the sector needs to be overhauled.

A REPORT ON mental health services in Ireland has been branded as a “damning indictment” of Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch’s management of the field.

Speaking this evening, the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said the findings of the Mental Health Commission’s annual report point towards the need for a review of the government’s mental health roadmap, Vision for Change.

Published in 2006, this outlined a range of recommendations to be introduced as part of the reform of services.

The commission warned that improvements in recent years are in danger of “coming to a standstill”.

PNA general secretary Des Kavanagh said the roadmap is “being used a fig leaf to hide under-resourcing and under-staffing of services”.

He described the findings outlined today, such as ‘a lack of investment, recruitment moratoriums, and that children are still being placed in adult psychiatric units’, as “alarming”.

Kavanagh also criticised the minister’s response to concerns raised by clinicians over the high suicide rates in Carlow and South Tipperary.

“‘The Minister’s response to the very worrying situation that has emerged in Carlow /South Tipperary is extremely disappointing and fails to recognise and respect the genuine concerns of nurses and doctors on the frontline,” he said in a statement this evening, and accused her of “ignoring the facts”.


  • Console 1800 201 890 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)

  • Aware 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety)

  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email - (suicide, self-harm, bereavement)

  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)

  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: Almost half of all mental health care centres still use physical restraint >

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