Mental health policy slammed at Donegal event

Launch of Darkness into Light walk hears criticism of government policy

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

Mental health policy slammed at Donegal event

Senator Joan Freeman

The government's mental health policy has been slammed at the launch of a major charity event.

At the launch of this year’s Darkness into Light walk in Donegal town on Thursday last Senator Joan Freeman slated the government policy, or “indeed the lack of it” on mental Health.

Senator Freeman told the Democrat she has donated her Oireachtas salary to mental health causes. “I was appointed Senator because of Pieta House so it’s only right that Pieta House and the community benefit as a result of this. I am only reflecting what the people of Ireland have done over the last ten years by giving so much.”

“It is a great honour to work for your country especially when the rest of the Oireachtas sit silent - I want the message loud and clear from Donegal tonight I will do the shouting. We don’t want any more white papers or reports that take up space on shelves, we want action.

“When a government department has a short fall where do the go - they dip into the mental health budget leaving us with practically nothing. They seem to have the attitude that they voluntary sector will deal with it.

“Do the not realise that there are people suffering, people are dying yet there is nothing but lip service. There is total neglect especially in the children’s sector.

“This is no political football - 48% of the population of this country will require mental health services yet we sit in silence.

Senator Freeman added: “I am delighted to announce that we will be opening Pieta House in Letterkenny in the next few weeks. I have seen the resilience , the passion of the Donegal people and I have seen you neglected.

“Don’t thank us for Pieta House, thank yourselves- this centre belongs to you. You can be proud of yourselves. “

To register for the Darkness into Light 5k walk/run on Saturday 6th. May, check out dil.pieta.ie