Press Release

Minister O´Malley addresses the Irish Psychiatric Association´s Annual Conference

Mr. Tim O´Malley T.D., Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children today (4 October, 2002) addressed the 2nd annual conference of the Irish Psychiatric Association in Galway.

“This conference is an excellent opportunity to discuss the future direction of the mental health services and to acknowledge and recognise the importance and value of the work of the Irish Psychiatric Association” the Minister said.

In his address, the Minister referred to the dramatic changes in both the concept and practice of mental health care delivery, “. . . enormous strides have been made and continue to be made in developing a service which is comprehensive, community-based and integrated with other health services.”

The Minister welcomed the development of advocacy groups throughout the country. He said “It is only through speaking and listening to each other that progress can be made”. Minister O´Malley also urged psychiatrists to listen more to patients and to speak out on issues of concern to patients.

The Minister noted that additional funding of €24.447m, allocated for mental health services in 2002, represented a 350% increase on the additional funding of €6.98m allocated in 1999. “This funding will enhance the significant improvements which have been made in recent years” the Minister said.

The Minister referred to industrial relations problems which exist in the mental health services. He said he was aware that some patients were ready to move out to community settings, but this has not happened because of industrial relations problems. He urged all those involved to put the needs of the patients first and to work together to move forward in providing a more appropriate service.

The Minister thanked the organizers of the conference and wished them continued success in their work.