Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell called for a greater focus on mental health in terms of frontline and infrastructural support, education and the promotion of enhanced awareness in every community in the North County, and across the country.
Speaking in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Farrell called for the stigma, which is unfortunately still associated with mental health, to be addressed urgently. Deputy Farrell stated “If we are overweight, we exercise and if we need to improve our knowledge, we study. However, when it comes to the most important muscle in our body, we do not exercise it. We do not speak about it and we are not really given the opportunity to be heard and yet that can often be the antidote to depression.”
“It is important for us to recognise the importance of being able to talk and be heard and to ensure that the State provides a service which can cater to all of those in need of support, whether through resources and physical buildings or the personnel to support the general public.” continued Deputy Farrell.
Following his contribution in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Farrell said “I am glad to see the focus on mental health in the programme for government, and I am pleased with the appointment of a dedicated Minister of State with special responsibility for mental health in Helen McEntee TD.
“I am sure that almost every one of us, in the North County and across the country, knows somebody facing mental health difficulties. We must do all we can to support everybody who is in need, whether it be 24 hour care, outpatient services, or simply somebody to talk to.
“I am particularly pleased with the fact that a new Wellbeing subject will be introduced for junior certificate students in 2017. Education has an important role to play in teaching our young generations coping mechanisms for when they face stressful times and showing them that mental health is an issue which should be discussed.
“Education has a particularly important role is disassociating mental health and depression from the taboo status which it has had for too long in our society. However, this must be complimented by actions to increase the awareness of mental health in every local community in Dublin Fingal, and across the country.”
(Alan Farrell TD speaking on Mental Health in Dáil Éireann)