Press Release

€3 million Innovation Funding announced for Mental Health and Disability

John Moloney T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Health & Children, today (24th January) announced €3m is to be provided this year for innovative projects in mental health and disability services.

Speaking at an event in Dublin Castle to mark progress and achievements in mental health services, 5 years on from the publication of A Vision for Change, the Minister said “this allocation is a reflection of the important partnership which has developed in recent years between Government and philanthropy in driving the reform of our disability and mental health services. The service reforms which will be facilitated by this funding are fully in line with the objectives of Government policy as set out in A Vision for Change and with the objectives of the National Disability Strategy.”

€2m innovation funding will be provided to the Genio Trust in 2011. Genio seeks to improve the everyday lives of people with disabilities and mental health difficulties. In 2010, it was allocated €3m in innovation funding to support over 100 people to move from institutions to the community, or to become more independent in the community where they belong. Grants were awarded to 50 projects including 15 mental health projects with total funding of €1.4m. The additional funding being provided this year will enable Genio to further their work in this area; focusing on one institution or hospital to enable that facility to close in its entirety. The funding will also be directed towards increasing the provision of cost effective, family and community based respite care, as an alternative to traditional institutional models.

A further €1m will be provided to fund the expansion of Jigsaw, currently in 5 counties, to a further 10 counties. Jigsaw is an innovative community based support service for young people, which has been developed by Headstrong and is designed to promote systems of care that are accessible, youth-friendly, integrated, and engaging for young people.

Referring to Jigsaw the Minister continued “It is critical that we provide, within our communities, the kinds of support young people need. In Jigsaw we have a committed, caring and co-ordinated service for young people which was developed with young people at the core. Jigsaw is an operational expression of A Vision for Change and this funding, which is for a 3 year period, will enable it to be expanded and put on a firmer footing within our mental health services for young people.”

Mental Health Services in Ireland are seeing changes under the Vision for Change policy, first published in 2006. This event (Jan 24 2011) brought together all those involved to highlight the work done and the future plans for our services. Some participants in the event gave the HSE their views on vision for change and what it has meant so far. View this video

View further information including the HSE press release, and the Vision Online Survey results