Press Release

Minister O’Malley Announces New Appointments to the Mental Health Commission

Mr Tim O’Malley T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for mental health, today (4th April 2007) announced appointments to the Mental Health Commission for the period 2007 to 2012.

The new Commission will be chaired by Dr Edmond O’Dea, Principal    Psychologist, HSE Mid West Area. The other members of the Commission include representatives of the medical, nursing, other health and legal professionals, voluntary bodies, mental health service users and the general public.

The full list of members appointed by the Minister is as follows:

Dr Edmond O’Dea, Psychologist (Chair)

Mr Brendan Byrne, Psychiatric Nurse, Carlow/Kilkenny

Ms Emile Daly, Barrister

Ms Marie Devine, Bodywhys

Dr Brendan Doody, Consultant Psychiatrist, Dublin

Mr Padraig Heverin, Psychiatric Nurse, Castlebar (reappointed)

Dr Martina Kelly, GP, Cork

Dr Mary Keys, Lecturer, NUI Galway

Dr Eamonn Moloney, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cork

Mr John Redican, Irish Advocacy Network

Mr Martin Rogan, HSE

Mr John Saunders, Schizophrenia Ireland

Ms Vicki Somers, Social Worker, Dublin (reappointed)

The Minister expressed his sincere thanks to the outgoing members of    the first Mental Health Commission established in 2002 under the Mental Health Act 2001. In its five years in office from 2002 to 2007 the Commission contributed significantly to the modernisation of the mental health services.

Activities undertaken by the Commission in this period included successfully preparing for the full implementation of the Mental Health Act 2001 which introduced radical reforms; the establishment of a new Inspectorate of Mental Health Services and development of the mental    health tribunal system which provides for the automatic and independent review of all involuntary detentions.

The first Mental Health Commission successfully established itself as an independent body committed to promoting high standards and good    practices in the delivery of mental health services and to ensuring that the interests of detained persons are protected. “The Commission’s    independent role is crucial in driving the agenda for change and modernisation in the mental health service in the coming years”, the    Minister stated.

Since the introduction of mental health tribunals in November 2006, over 500 tribunals have been heard. More detailed information relating to the mental health tribunals is available on the Commission’s website.