Minister O´Malley Officially Opens Schizophrenia Ireland Conference
Mr. Tim O´Malley T.D., Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children today (Friday 29th November, 2002) officially opened the Biennial Conference of Schizophrenia Ireland in Kilkenny., the theme of which is “Stigma – Breaking down the barriers” “People with a mental illness were excluded for many years from full participation in community life as a result of widespread stigmatisation of mental illness” the Minister said.
In his address, the Minister acknowledged that while researchers and clinicians have made important advances in reducing suffering and accompanying disability, the battle against the stigma and social exclusion caused by mental illness is ongoing. “It is in this area that the work of voluntary bodies such as Schizophrenia Ireland is so important” the Minister said.
The Minister also referred to a recent survey by Schizophrenia Ireland concerning medication and treatment which found that a majority of those surveyed (65%) were taking more than one medicine for their mental health problems. “It is clear to me that the issue of polypharmacy, that is, the concurrent use of multiple medications in a single patient, needs to be opened up for discussion among clinicians and service users” the Minister said.
The Minister thanked Schizophrenia Ireland for their work in educating public opinion about mental illness and wished them continued success.