Press Release

Minister O´Malley addresses the first meeting of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy

Mr. Tim O´Malley, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for mental health today (16th October 2003) addressed the first meeting of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy. This Group will prepare a new national policy framework for the mental health services to replace the existing policy document, Planning for the Future, which was published in 1984. “The establishment of an Expert Group to undertake the task of preparing such a national policy framework for the development of mental health services is a significant milestone,” said the Minister. “The Group is uniquely placed to influence the future development of mental health services and to contribute to a more people-centred approach to service delivery”, the Minister added.

In his address, the Minister referred to the membership of the Group which is chaired by Professor Joyce O´Connor, President of the National College of Ireland. Other members of the Expert Group include representatives of the medical, nursing and paramedical professions, voluntary bodies and mental health service users. “The membership encompasses a wide range of knowledge and a balance of views on many issues affecting the performance and delivery of care in our mental health services. I believe that this diversity of disciplines within the Group will greatly assist it in its work”, said Minister O´Malley.

The Minister thanked all of those who had agreed to serve as members of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy and wished them every success in their important work.