Ronan Mullen criticises centralisation of mental health services to UHG

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One week after saying ‘mental health has no evidence base’, Senator Ronán Mullen has criticised the centralisation of mental health services in County Galway to University Hospital Galway.

Mullen, who was harshly criticised for his comments during the final debate last week, said in the Seanad yesterday that if you look at the crisis in Galway, you will ‘see in microcosm the dysfunction’ in HSE community mental health services.

“The HSE in Galway has decided to centralise all mental health treatment into an overcrowded mental health unit in the University Hospital.

“That is partly the result of the fact that in 2015, the HSE closed a state-of-the art mental health facility at St. Brigid’s Hospital, Ballinasloe, which cost over €3 million to renovate.

“At the core of the vaunted A Vision for Change plan for mental health services was the recommendation that care be given close to the communities where the patient lives.

“In Galway, the opposite is now happening. All mental health care is being centralised in the city hospital,” he said.

Meanwhile, many people on social media are organising NUI graduates to make sure Mullen is not re-elected to the Seanad.

The campaign to boot him out of the Seanad was sparked by his comments about mental health and comments he made to an audience member at the debate, who shared her traumatic experience of travelling to Birmingham to have an abortion.

“Saoirse, you deserve love and respect regardless of what you’ve ever done,” said Mullen to the young audience member.