How Irish Mental Health Services Are Organised

Public Services

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for delivering all public health services in Ireland. This includes public mental health services. The HSE delivers mental health services at two levels:

Primary care

Primary care (services in your community from GPs (doctors), public health nurses and social workers that you can access directly without a referral)

How do I get treatment at primary care?

To access mental health services at primary care, visit your GP. Your GP should be able to treat you or refer you on to other services

Specialist Services

Specialist services (services that require a referral from your GP or another mental health professional)

Who goes on to get treatment from specialist services?

About 90% of mental health services are delivered through primary care. 10% of people will get treatment from specialist services. Many people who go on to specialist services will later be referred back to primary care where they can get on-going support in their community

Private Services

You can also get treatment from private mental health services, but you will have to pay or have insurance cover. Later, we look at getting private counselling or psychotherapy and accessing private hospital care.

Community and Voluntary Sector

Many services are provided by organisations in the community and voluntary sector. You can contact these directly, without a referral. You can find a list of services offered by Mental Health Reform’s member organisations throughout this website.