Voters urged to demand that politicians act on mental health

The CEO of one of Ireland’s best-known mental health organisations has called on voters to urge politicians to put more resources into dealing with mental health issues in the community.

Michele Kerrigan, of GROW Mental Health Recovery, has stated that with candidates calling to doors ahead of the General Election on February 8th, now is the time to ask them to deliver on the promises of delivering a community-centred approach to helping people overcome all types of mental health challenges.

GROW in Ireland is a community-based organisation that provides support and education around emotional and mental wellbeing. Members are helped to recover from all forms of mental breakdown and we help people who suffer from depression, shyness, anxiety and panic attacks, along with those experiencing physical and financial difficulties, through the support the members give each other from their own experience in matters to do with mental health. There are currently 130 groups across the country where members help each other on the road to recovery.

“Statistics show that one in four people in Ireland will be affected by some type of mental health challenge and as this has a knock-on effect on family members, it is something that touches almost every household in the country.

“Ireland’s mental health strategy, ‘A Vision for Change’  provides the framework for building and fostering positive mental health across the entire community and for providing accessible, community-based, specialist services for people with mental illness. However, to achieve this we need more resources in terms of time and funding to be put into mental health in the community,” explained Ms Kerrigan.

“With politicians from all parties calling to your door, now is the ideal time to ask them to give their full backing to that strategy. By having the resources in the community, such as GROW’s peer-support groups and education initiatives we could provide the pathway to recovery for many people across the country without have to join a waiting list for help.

“Not only would this help people to recover but also ease the pressure on the over-worked health system, so it is essential that the new government, the HSE and voluntary groups work together to address the issue of mental health” added Michele, who gave her backing to Mental Health’s Reform’s General Election 2020 Manifesto which calls on candidates to pledge, if elected, to implement in full these essential changes for our mental health services.

  • We need substantial investment in Ireland’s mental health services: Ireland’s mental health budget must move from 6% of the overall health budget at least 10% of the overall health budget.
  • Ireland’s mental health services are not accessible 24/7: Crisis mental health services need to be accessible to every community in Ireland, for people of all ages.
  • Ireland’s mental health law does not give adequate protect people’s rights when they are in hospital for mental health treatment: The draft legislation to update the Mental Health Act, 2001, must be published in full and the law must be updated.

 

 

About GROW

GROW in Ireland is a community-based organisation that provides support and education around emotional and mental wellbeing. Our 12 Step Recovery Program (which is based on CBT techniques) provides effective peer support, motivation and empowerment to enable members to take action to change their circumstances in a structured and supportive environment.

GROW’s weekly support meetings offer members a practical path out of mental and emotional issues. The programme empowers members to construct their own recovery plan and journey towards personal growth. Its principal strength is the support its members give to each other, drawing on their own successful experiences of recovery.

This may involve supporting another member in the Group, e.g. meeting for coffee, or getting involved in the organisation, e.g. helping at a GROW event. Members are given the opportunity to play an active part in the Group by volunteering for certain roles, e.g. Recorder, Organiser or Leader.

GROW groups are run by members for members with some input from a GROW staff member from time to time. It is confidential, non-denominational and open to all.

The organisation centres on the idea that ‘you alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone’ and CHIME concept of recovery – Connectedness, Hope, Identity, Meaning, Empowerment.

Members are helped to recover from all forms of mental breakdown and we help people who suffer from depression, shyness, anxiety and panic attacks, along with those experiencing physical and financial difficulties, through the support the members give each other from their own experience in matters to do with mental health.

The organisation has been working in Ireland since 1969 and there are currently 130 groups across the country where members help each other on the road to recovery.

International research on GROW’s programme of recovery shows that “over a period of time they need significantly less professional help and have less chance of relapse. They are significantly more likely to be in employment and will have wider support networks. They are also more likely to reduce, or dispense with, medication”.

For more information on GROW Mental Health Recovery visit www.grow.ie.

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