Press Release

Minister O´Malley attends (UCC) Mental Health Awareness Meeting

Mr. Tim O´Malley T.D., Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children last night (Thursday, 16th January 2003) attended the Mental Health Awareness Meeting in University College Cork.

In his address, the Minister noted that mental health promotion is a very broad concept as it emphasises the promotion of the psychological health and well being of individuals, families and communities. “I see it as a key task of the health services not just to treat mental illness but more importantly, using the principles of health promotion, to try and improve the mental health of the population” added the Minister.

The Minister referred to the production of “a resource manual for mental health promotion and suicide prevention in third level institutions” jointly produced by Trinity College Dublin and the Northern Area Health Board, with the support of the Department of Health and Children, which will be available to all third level institutions in the country.

Minister O´Malley used the opportunity to outline the changes, which have taken place in the provision of mental health services since the publication of Planning for the Future (1984). He also outlined the Government´s intention to develop a new National Framework for Mental Health and explained that the Department of Health and Children is currently examining the methodology to be employed in this process.

The Minister thanked all those involved in organising this event for recognising the need for positive mental health promotion in the college setting. “The college setting represents a huge challenge for mental health promotion as the question of good mental health in young people becomes ever more important” the Minister added.