Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has today (Friday) said that he is delighted that the mental health budget has been restored after an amount of €12m was allocated to a different area following last years budget.

“An additional €500m was approved by cabinet this week towards the annual health budget and from this Minister Simon Harris has committed to restore the full €35m ringfenced for mental health services in the last budget.

“I see this as a win for all those individuals, many of whom were young people, who contacted my office outraged at the perceived cut.  I have already spoken to Minister Harris and Junior Minister Helen McEntee about how these resources could be best spent to directly improve the availability of mental health supports in Kildare.

“On the same day this funding was confirmed I also facilitated a meeting with representatives from MOJO with all seven Kildare TD’s. MOJO is a pilot scheme running in Kildare town and Celbridge which is currently part funded by the National Office of Suicide Prevention (NOSP). It targets men in distress on a twelve week programme which focuses on a) wellbeing and resilience and b) life planning. The programme has been very successful to date but needs confirmation of future funding to be able to continue to provide the service and role it out in other towns such as Athy and Newbridge in 2017.

“Programmes in our communities such as MOJO are crucial as an early intervention for those who feel they have no where to turn. Such programmes invariably take pressure off our acute services down the line by giving people the support they need early, to cope with life’s pressures.

“I will be pushing to see that this additional funding is used towards such community based services as well as investing in the badly needed upgrade of the Lakeview facility in Naas to ensure the best results for those that need it most in Kildare.