Press Release

Minister Lynch welcomes the Fifth Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Group on ‘A Vision for Change’

Ms Kathleen Lynch, T.D., Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, today, Friday 1 July 2011, published the Fifth Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Group on A Vision for Change.

In welcoming the Report the Minister said “This Report gives an independent update on the current status of the implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’ and gives me the opportunity to take stock of where we are and identify areas in need of further improvement.”

The Minister acknowledged that while progress in some areas is slow there has also been some significant initiatives throughout the country. She reiterated the Government’s commitment to the implementation of A Vision for Change.

The Report acknowledged progress in the area of capital development including the opening of the new adult and child and adolescent mental health care in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The Independent Monitoring Group (IMG) also welcomed the closure or imminent closure of outdated services in Wexford, Dublin, Tipperary, Galway, Donegal and partial closure of services in Kerry, Carlow and Kilkenny; the special consideration which was given to the mental health sector in Budget 2011 through a maximum reduction of 1.8% in the allocation for this sector; and the derogation from the moratorium on recruitment in the public service of 100 psychiatric nursing posts in 2010.

Commenting on the Report the Minister said that the Government has prioritised the reform of mental health service in line with ‘A Vision for Change’ and the Programme for Government makes a number of commitments in relation to mental health, including the ring-fencing of €35 million annually from within the health budget to develop community mental health teams and services.

The Minister acknowledged the continued development of the Jigsaw model for youth mental health and welcomed the €1m innovation funding provided to fund the expansion of Jigsaw. The Minister added “The Headstrong Jigsaw project is an excellent example of how to reach out to young people in our communities and identify, at an early stage, those who may be in distress and in need of a listening ear or medical intervention.

“The reform of our mental health services is a priority for this Government” the Minister said “and I am fully committed to improving our mental health services and to driving the implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’ and the transition from institutional to a community-based, recovery oriented, model of care”.

The Minister thanked the members of the Independent Monitoring Group for their continued hard work and commitment.

Read the report.