Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee TD, today closed a national conference on Traveller Mental Health, organised by the Traveller Counselling Service. Held in Dublin Castle, the conference looked at some key issues that impact on mental health within the Traveller community, and discussed how to best address the mental health needs of the Traveller community.
Minister McEntee welcomed this discussion, stating: “Traveller mental health continues to be an area in need of attention, with rates of suicides in this group seven times higher than in the wider community.
Positive steps have been made, with the HSE committing to €540,000 being invested specifically in enhancing mental health services to particular vulnerable groups such as our Traveller population, with this funding also providing for new posts in local services targeting specific supports for these groups.
However, we know there are still barriers facing members of the Travelling Community who may wish to access mental health services, with stigma playing a significant part. National conversations such as this conference are recognised as having an important role in addressing this stigma.”