Ferris brands lack of mental health facilities in Kerry a ‘national disgrace’

A Kerry TD has said the lack of mental health facilities in the county is a ‘national disgrace’.

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris, raised the lack of resources provided to mental health facilities in Kerry in the Dail.

Debuty Ferris said that in 2015 a rehabilitation unit at Deer Lodge Killarney was completed, in 2014 a 4 bed high observation unit was completed in University Hospital Kerry, both units lie empty and the reason given is a lack of staff to run them.

He added that 16 children from Kerry have been admitted to the mental health unit at UHK because there are no adolescent or teenage places available, which the deputy said is a national disgrace.

In response, the Taoiseach said that he did not know the actual facts around the two cases that the Deputy mentioned but that clearly these units were built for a purpose.

Enda Kenny said that clearly there has to be a programme for people to work in these facilities and for them to be used for the purpose for which they were built and he would advise the Deputy as to what the current state of play is from the HSE perspective.

He added that he would arrange to have the Minister of State dealing with mental health provision respond to the Deputy regarding children being placed in adolescent beds in Kerry.