Speaking at the launch of his discussion document on mental health services and attitudes in Dungarvan, Sinn Féin local election candidate Conor D. McGuinness said that communities in West Waterford are being failed by an inadequate and under-resourced mental health service.
“My research into mental health services and attitudes in West Waterford shows that communities have lost all faith in the statutory mental health services, and its little wonder. Crumbling infrastructure, understaffed services, and waiting lists that show little sign of improving paint a bleak picture of statutory mental health service provision for Waterford and the South-East as a whole.
“The research shows that there is a good general knowledge of mental health issues in the community and that the public believe that mental health is an important policy issue at local level as well as at national level. There is a strong belief locally that tackling isolation, addressing the housing crisis, and promoting positive mental health locally will do much to prevent ill-health and long-term mental health problems. Almost 97% of people surveyed believed that Waterford City and County Council should have a role in promoting positive mental health.
“The document makes a number of recommendations for actions that the Council can take to put resources, infrastructure and influence to work in promoting positive mental health. These include providing suicide awareness training to counter staff; increasing access to community funding schemes for mental health related projects; establishing a health and wellbeing Linkage Group as part of the PPN, and taking a proactive approach to securing premises for community organisations such as Women’s Sheds and GIY groups.”
“Waterford City and County Council aims to ‘make Waterford the best place possible for all its people; and to help ‘communities become vibrant and safe with a sustainable and healthier future’. If elected to the local authority this May I will prioritise mental health and work to have this vision realised.”
click below to access the discussion document