Concerns have been raised about the impact a recruitment freeze in the HSE is having on the number of full-time mental health posts.
There were 9,977 posts filled across Ireland last month – just 68 higher than in July 2009.
Campaigners say in the last decade, the demand on mental health services has increased but the number of posts has remained relatively static
Two regions including CHO Area 1, which takes in Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim - have fewer posts now than 10 years ago.
TheJournal.ie reports that an ongoing recruitment freeze has prevented the HSE from filling positions across the health sector, including in mental health. Some people who were offered jobs months ago have still not started work.
The latest figures relating to mental health posts were released by the HSE to TD Pat Buckley, Sinn Féin’s mental health spokesperson. He said the static nature of the figures is “particularly alarming"
A spokesperson for the HSE has also said the current recruitment controls were considered by the HSE’s Executive Management Team on 13 August last, where the health service’s June 2019 performance was considered.
Following that review, the freeze is set to remain in place “until there is satisfactory evidence of traction and delivery of balanced financial plans."