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Minister Mary Butler and Minister Malcolm Noonan tour Local Mental Health Services in Kilkenny

May 30th 2023

Minister Mary Butler and Minister Malcolm Noonan visiting TASK mental health training center in Kilkenny

Yesterday TD for Carlow Kilkenny and Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, has the welcome opportunity to visit a number of key mental health support services in Kilkenny City, accompanied by his Government colleague Mary Butler, TD for Waterford and Minister for Mental Health and Older People.

Minister Mary Butler, Minister Malcolm Noonan and Cllr. Maria Dollard with the dedicated team at Ossory Youth

Speaking after their visits to Ossory Youth, Samaritans and TASK, Minister Butler said:

“I'm delighted to be here today with my colleague, Minister Malcolm Noonan, to visit Kilkenny, and we were joined earlier by some of our colleagues from the Oireachtas and from Kilkenny County Council - Deputy John McGuinnes, Councillor Maria Dollard and Councillor Andrew McGuinness.

“Obviously we know that positive mental health is hugely important, and it’s important to us as a Government, so I was delighted to come here today and meet some of the organisations that are providing invaluable support on the ground. I was really struck by the fact that there's a huge interactivity between all the various organisations in Kilkenny, which is really important. I speak to a lot of people who might have challenges with their mental health, they might be experiencing emotional distress, and sometimes they're not always sure about which is the best door for them, and some ome of the organisations here in Kilkenny will signpost to other organisations. I'm delighted to see there are so many organisations here providing very, very important support.

“Having visited some of them today, I will take away all the issues that they have raised in relation to funding, in relation to recruitment and retention of staff, and the fact that many of them are Section 39 organisations and find it hard to retain staff.”

Ministers joined the volunteers of the Kilkenny Carlow Samaritans to celebrate the important work they do

Following the visits, Minister Noonan – who has worked in the past on suicide prevention projects, said:

“I'm delighted that my ministerial colleague, Mary Butler TD, could come to Kilkenny to see the fantastic work that is happening on the ground in relation to mental health supports. One thing that she has noticed is the fact that there's always been a culture of good interaction between the various organisations here, and indeed between the HSE and the voluntary-led organisations.

“What we’ve tried to do today is to give Minister Butler a flavour of that interaction, whether it’s around mental health for young people or mental health for people who may have a disability. We wanted also to give her the opportunity too to look at the great work of the Ossory Youth, of Samaritans here in Kilkenny, and of the community-based project of TASK, which brings together many of elements of recovery through training, support and participation in various activities. So it's really been a great day, and I’m very glad she could make it here and speak to a lot of the organisations on the ground in Kilkenny.”

Minister Mary Butler, Minister Malcolm Noonan and Cllr. Maria Dollard, with Susan Fahy and Grace Rothwell at TASK mental health training center


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