Annual report says major change is needed

Ireland's mental health services have been described as "unsafe" and "substandard".

A damning new report from the Mental Health Commission says major change is needed.

The commission's annual report shows that in 2017, 62 out of 64 centres were found to be non-compliant with one or more of their requirements by law.

Most of those were in the areas of staffing, premises, maintenance of records and medication practices.

The child and adolescent mental health services come in for particular criticism.

The report highlights inadequate staffing and funding - and the admission of 82 kids into adult services last year as areas of concern.

The widespread use of seclusion and restraint are also criticised - as are the dirty and dilapidated condition of many premises.

Overall, progress in many areas has been either non-existent or slow, the report says.

As for what needs to change, it calls on the government and HSE to come up with a major transformation programme.

The commission says more funding, tackling stigma and better recruitment are all urgently needed.