WHY THIS MATTERS
Over 40% of Irish adults have a mental health difficulty (source), which is in line with other developed nations around the world, however, decades of underfunding have resulted in chronic shortages of mental health services across the state. Just 5.1% of the 2023 annual health budget is spent on mental health services (€1.2 bn of €23.4 bn budget – source), while the World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 12% (source) for developed nations.
This shortage in funds has unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, affected the most vulnerable members of society the most. The Mental Health Commission published reports in 2023 that showcased around 4,000 people on waiting lists to receive mental health care across the state (source), with suicidal children waiting over 50 days to speak to a mental health professional (source).
This lack of funding is leading to devastating outcomes for children and families across the country, and putting unbearable strain on our wonderful mental health professionals and teams. The trauma experienced often leads to far more costly downstream issues such as addiction, homelessness, domestic violence, anti social behaviour and absenteeism to name a few. These issues are complex and very difficult to address, but early intervention with proper mental health services would dramatically reduce the cost to the state and society. This is why The Reuven Field Foundation has been set up with the mission to Make Mental Health Services Accessible to All.