top of page

Matthews welcomes positive engagement with Minister Mary Butler on Mental Health Needs for Wicklow

Date: 9 September 2021

Green Party TD, Steven Matthews was speaking following his receipt of a detailed report on existing mental health services in Wicklow which included recommendations for proposed improvements and highlighted key shortcomings that the HSE will seek to address as soon as possible. Deputy Matthews has held a series of meetings with Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People – Mary Butler about various concerns and gaps in service across Wicklow and broadly welcomed the report from the Minister. Discussing the contents, Deputy Matthews said:

“I initially sought a full report from the Department of Health on the existing mental health services in Wicklow following a very concerning meeting with a group of GPs from across the county who raised very serious issues with wait times, inequality of access to mental health supports and the potential knock on impacts of failing to intervene and improve these services.

“Since this meeting, earlier this year, I have been going back and forth with Minister Butler and her Department officials seeking a full analysis of the existing mental health services in Wicklow for both children and adults; how we compare to other counties and seeking to highlight and ultimately address where we are failing vulnerable individuals in need of support.

“The report highlighted the recent investment in short term funding by the Government that sought to alleviate the longer-term waiting lists in Wicklow and other areas experiencing similar bottle necks in service. This included the recruitment of part time staff and the redeployment of other experts where required. However, the report fully acknowledged the need for further – multi annual funding to develop a sustainable Primary Care Psychology service in the longer term which will include the requirement to recruit additional permanent staff. The Minister has assured me on numerous occasions that she will be pushing for this funding as part of the upcoming budget.

“Mental health support and treatment is an extremely complex area, and nobody believes that financial investment alone will alleviate the long-standing waiting list issues and inequality of access to support. This issue requires, long term planning – matched with targeted investment in staff, facilities, and innovation in the sector. I look forward to continuing my work with Minister Butler to ensure that access to these vital services is improved for all those who need them in Wicklow, concluded Deputy Matthews.



bottom of page