Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has welcomed confirmation from the HSE that the hours for the Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer has been increase with the position expected to be up and running in March to provide support to people who have experienced a suicide loss in this area.
Deputy Smyth had been highlighting the issue for a number of months and had called on the HSE to provide a service across the two counties.
“I am pleased that the HSE has finally decided to act to address the gap in the system, which had left Cavan and Monaghan without any suicide bereavement counselling service. I am even further please that following numerous requests by me to increase funding in this area, the hours for this position have been increased to 24hours. It’s a start but no-where near what we need. This was a major oversight and created an additional burden for people and families who were dealing with grief in the aftermath of losing a loved one to suicide”, explained Deputy Smyth.
“Mental health services are every bit as important as physical health services, but these essential counselling services are not being provided by the HSE in either Cavan or Monaghan.
“I have been in contact with the HSE over the past number of months to push for the establishment of Bereavement Counselling Services and I was pleased back in October 2018 to be informed that €41,000 in funding has been approved for a Suicide Bereavement Liaison Worker for 20 hours a week in Cavan-Monaghan. Following further questions by me, this now has been increased to 24 hours. While this is a welcome development, I would like to see a full time post created.
“I will continue to engage with the HSE to secure a full service for the two counties. Unfortunately, there are many people, families, groups and communities that have been affected by suicide and bereavement counselling plays an essential role within these support services. I will be working to ensure that a full service is available to people living in Cavan and Monaghan.”
Please find PQ attached.PQ 4737 19 1 Deputy N Smyth 4th Feb 2019