Press Release

Minister O’Malley launches Primary Mental Health Care Initiative in Limerick

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children, today (Monday 19th June 2006) launched the Primary Mental Health Care Initiative in the University of Limerick

This initiative is a collaborative initiative between General Practice and Psychology. The objective of the Primary Mental Health Care Initiative is to contribute to the development and the provision of appropriate mental health care within the Primary Health Care Strategy.

The Minister emphasised that primary care is the first point of contact that the majority of people have with the health and personal social services. Primary care is the appropriate setting to meet 90–95% of all health and personal social services needs, including mental health needs. “All but the most complex and acute health care needs of individuals, families and groups can be effectively met in the local primary care setting” the Minister said.

In his address, the Minister welcomed the many projects being provided under this initiative, including the provision of low-cost, supervised counselling by qualified psychotherapists, and an information booklet and relaxation CD which is being produced for distribution to all GP’s. “I am confident that all of these will be of benefit to service users” the Minister added.

The Minister noted the recently-published Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy “A Vision for Change” which is in line with the philosophy of the Primary Care Mental Health Care Initiative to provide care in the community by offering the right level of intervention and support to enable people with psychiatric and psychological difficulties to achieve the maximum independence and control over their lives.

The Minister thanked the directors Dr Michael Griffin and Dr Declan Aherne and wished them continued success in their work.