Press Release

Minister Devins welcomes World Mental Health Day and launches interim National Service User Executive Strategic Plan for 2007/2009

Dr Jimmy Devins, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for mental health, today (Wednesday 10th October 2007) welcomed World Mental Health Day and also launched the interim National Service User Executive Strategic Plan for 2007/2009 entitled “Voice for Change”.

This year, World Mental Health Day is focussing on “Mental health in a changing world: the impact of culture and diversity”. 2007 marks the fifteenth year of the World Mental Health Day global mental health education campaign which is organised by the World Federation for Mental Health to communicate with the general public on mental health issues.

The interim National Service User Executive (NSUE) was launched on January 31st 2007, with the remit to set up the framework and structures for the operation of the permanent Executive. Minister Devins said “It is clear from the findings of ‘A Vision for Change’, the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy, that we need to listen more closely to the views of service users and their carers. I would like to acknowledge the work of the voluntary sector which worked closely with the Health Service Executive in the establishment of the iNSUE. It is clear that without their help, it would not have been possible to advance this exciting initiative so quickly.”

“The 2007/2009 Strategic Plan, which is being launched today, clearly outlines four strategic priorities for the coming few years and lays the groundwork for the formation of the Executive which will play a central role in shaping the dialogue between service users and service providers to ensure a respectful and effective interchange of ideas, plans, hopes and concerns, all of which form the basis of good communication” Minister Devins said.

The Minister added “I am confident that the work being undertaken will continue to have a positive impact and thus enhance the well-being and quality of life for many people, and I remain firmly convinced that a collaborative approach between service users and carers, professionals and health service providers, represents the best way forward”.

Minister Devins congratulated all those involved in developing the Strategic Plan and wished the World Federation for Mental Health every success in this year’s events to mark World Mental Health Day.