Minister launches Reports of Expert Group on Mental Health Policy
The Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Tim O’Malley, T.D., today, Thursday 9th December launched two reports on the Consultation Process which was undertaken earlier this year by the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy.
“These Reports provide a very clear message to policy makers about the type of mental health services that are needed for the future: services that are person-centered, accessible and of a high standard” the Minister said.
The Expert Group on Mental Health Policy was established in August 2003 to prepare a new national policy framework for mental health services, updating the present policy document Planning for the Future which was published in 1984.
Speaking your Mind, prepared by Carr Communications, and What we Heard, prepared by the Irish Advocacy Network are the result of a comprehensive consultation process undertaken on behalf of the Group which comprised written submissions, questionnaires, two public consultation days and a one-to-one consultation process with service users in the Adult Mental Health Services.
The Reports reflect the wide ranging knowledge and expertise that exists among professionals and service providers with regard to mental health issues. They also give a very clear indication of service users’ views in relation to the present state of the mental health services and how they should be developed in the future.
“The Government is committed to the provision of quality care in the area of mental health, to upholding the civil and human rights of those who suffer from mental illness and to encouraging measures aimed at combating the stigma that is often associated with such illness” the Minister added.
Professor O’Connor, President of the National College of Ireland and Chair of the Group, stated that the level of response to the consultation process is a clear indicator of the eagerness of service users and service providers alike to contribute to a radically new configuration of services. “We have encountered such an excitement about the possibility of bringing the mental health services to a higher level of achievement and a sense of optimism that we are well-positioned to start that journey” she added.