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Minister for Health and Minister for Mental Health and Older People confirm the permanent establishment of the Psychology Assistant Grade

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, and the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, have today welcomed the permanent establishment of the Psychology Assistant grade. 


Minister Donnelly said: “We have seen very positive outcomes from an independent evaluation of a pilot programme that found this new grade allowed more individuals to be seen, supported new methods of service delivery and most importantly improved the experience of people accessing the service. It is important that these benefits are now permanently embedded in primary care psychology to support individuals requiring supports with their mental health.” 

Minister Butler said: “The establishment of the Psychology Assistant post on a permanent basis marks a significant achievement in promoting enhanced access to vital primary care psychology supports. The posts were originally introduced on a pilot basis in 2018 and have demonstrated positive outcomes in delivering early intervention mental health supports for children and young people.” 


Minister Butler continued: “Last month I announced a significant reduction of over 19% among under 18s waiting more than 12 months to be seen by Primary Care Psychology following an allocation of €4 million last August to address such lists through targeted initiatives. Today’s announcement is a further step forward in enhancing our Primary Care Psychology services. Such measures will complement ongoing work on the development of a sustainable Primary Care Psychology service in the longer term.” 


Psychology Assistants will work on fixed-term full-time 37 hour per week contracts of up to three years within HSE Psychology Services, and funding has been provided to recruit up to 114 people in the grade. 


Minister Donnelly added: “The establishment of this new grade will also help to extend opportunities for psychology graduates as they will gain valuable professional experience while working in HSE psychology services.”