Funding for disability and mental health services is to be cut by just 1.8 per cent next year, a relatively lower reduction compared to other areas in the health budget, according to Mr John Moloney, Minister of State for Disability and Mental Health.
Welcoming this “special consideration” given to the two areas in Budget 2011, Minister Moloney asked that service providers in the disability sector “work closely with the HSE throughout 2011 to ensure the maximum delivery of services in an efficient and effective manner, with priority being given to those in greatest need”.
The additional €10 million funding being provided to the HSE for disability in 2011 was to meet anticipated extra demand in respect of emergency residential, respite and personal assistant/home support hours for people with disabilities, and day places for school-leavers next September, he explained.
Taking the reduction in the overall HSE disability budget into account, Minister Moloney added that the HSE would manage the additional resources to ensure that existing support needs and demands for additional places and supports were “managed effectively within the overall allocation”.
Budget 2011 also included an additional €1 million for suicide prevention, which the Minister said would enable the National Office for Suicide Prevention to build on initiatives to date and bring “added momentum and new impetus to their activities to address the increasing incidence of suicide”.
Areas to be targeted include: developing the number and range of training and awareness programmes; improving the response to deliberate self-harm; and developing the capacity of primary care to respond to suicidal behaviour.