No funding for Castlerea e-Mental Health Hub

Serious concerns have been raised regarding the €2.6 million e-Mental Health Hub, which opened in Castlerea in place of the Rosalie Unit in June of last year, following HSE confirmation that funding for staff recruitment at the facility has so far not been made available for 2021.

The funding shortfall was revealed following a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane, who described the news as “bitterly disappointing” for families of former Rosalie Unit residents.

In a letter to Deputy Kerrane, HSE Chief Officer for the region, Breda Crehan-Roche, confirmed that Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Psychology of Later Life (POLL) day care services had been severely disrupted by the funding shortage.

According to the Chief Officer, the HSE has been running a reduced CAMHS Connect service with the assistance of nursing staff and the CAMHS Community Mental Health Team while it is believed the Psychology of Later Life services received no funding in either 2020 or 2021.

She added that the Head of Service was continuing to advocate for the additional funding in order to get the services fully operational.

Deputy Kerrane said funding had been provided last year for a social worker, consultant, nurse, and occupational therapist last year.

“Funding for the remaining posts was due this year but the facility has received nothing for either those remaining posts or the ones that were filled last year,” Deputy Kerrane said.

“Crucially, and I know this will be a sore point for the Rosalie families and those who worked there previously, there has been zero funding for the Day Hospital for Psychiatry of Later Life either this year or last year. This is so disappointing”.

Deputy Kerrane confirmed that she would be raising the matter in the Dáil with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar later today.

The HSE were contacted for comment but none was forthcoming as we went to print.