Press Release

Minister Addresses Parents and Young Peoples Conference to Support Positive Emotional and Mental Health

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Mental Health and Disability Services, today, Saturday 11th March, addressed the ‘Partners for Health in Education’ Conference at the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon.

Today’s conference, entitled ‘Self Esteem – Something inside so strong …. Supporting Parents/Guardians and Young People in promoting positive emotional and mental health’ has brought together key service providers, parents and young people. Over the course of the day’s events the conference aims to facilitate communication between parents and teenagers and to explore ways of supporting emotional and mental health.

The central theme of today’s conference is concerned specifically with developing self esteem for all. The Minister emphasised that ‘Mental health, like physical health, is a resource which needs to be promoted and protected. Positive mental health is important in its own right and is a resource for individuals and nations. It is important to recognise that all of us have mental health needs, therefore Mental Health Promotion involves any action to enhance the mental well being of individuals, families, organisations and communities’. Key note speakers with the Minister included Ruth Scott of 2 FM and well-known psychologist Dr Betty Cody (of Tubridy Show fame).

The Minister noted the recently-published report “A Vision for Change” which is the first comprehensive review of mental health policy since Planning for the Future was published in 1984. The report outlines an exciting vision of the future for mental health services in Ireland and sets out a framework for action to achieve it over the next 7-10 years. It has been accepted by Government as the basis for the future development of mental health policy. The policy places a strong emphasis on the promotion of positive mental health and emphasises the need to build up the resilience of individuals, communities and society as a whole in order to maintain mental health.

The Minister praised the work of the Partners for Health and Education for making a meaningful contribution to the work of mental health promotion at the level of the individual and family. “In today’s busy world it is a challenge to bring parents and young people together, taking time out to reflect on matters such as self esteem and how we can better communicate and relate to each other. But the attendance at the conferences of the Partners for Health in Education demonstrates the need for this time out. Everybody here today must be praised for making mental health promotion real in their lives” added the Minister.

Read the speech.