One Clare TD has called on the Government to meet with Pieta House following the issuing of 28 redundancies for clinical support workers.
Staff salaries have been cut by 30 percent with 28 redundancies handed out to clinical support workers within Pieta House. “A very significant funding gap” has emerged within the organisation, CEO Elaine Austin stated following the cancellation of the annual Darkness Into Light fundraiser.
Violet-Anne Wynne (SF) told The Clare Echo that a meeting needs to be held between the Government and Pieta House to address the funding shortfall. She highlighted that people in the country are provided with “essential mental health services” by Pieta House “in areas and communities which lack adequate public services or resources”.
“Sinn Féin have long made the point that mental health services should not be dependent on charitable donations but rather that the government has a responsibility to see that these services are protected. The COVID-19 crisis has put great strain on the mental health of many Clare communities and the services they depend on. It has also made it very difficult for charities which provide mental health supports to raise their needed funding beyond what they receive from the state,” she stated.
Clare workers in front services “are being exposed to traumatic and stressful situations and require mental health support at this difficult time,” the Kilrush woman maintained.
She felt the Government needed to directly work with Pieta House to resolve any funding gaps. “Workers with expertise in mental health provision should not be out of work at any time, but especially during a pandemic. If necessary, staff should be made part of the public system and able to continue their work in that way.”
Wynne concluded, “Pieta House does excellent work filling the gap created by years of government neglect of mental health services in the county. In this difficult time the government must act to ensure these services are not lost”.