Smyth calls for additional funding for Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer for Cavan/Monaghan

– Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer in place since July 2019

NIAMH PROFILEFianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has welcomed confirmation from the HSE that the position of Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer has now been filled but is calling additional funding to extend the service.

Deputy Smyth had been highlighting the issue for over a year now and had called on the HSE to provide a service across the two counties. This position was subsequently funded and was filled in July of this year.

“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 was then 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 latest Parliamentary Question here: PQ 42660 19 Niamh Smyth re Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer

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