Press Release

Minister O’Malley opens the 19th European Health Psychology Conference

Mr. Tim O’Malley T.D., Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children today (Wednesday 31st August, 2005) addressed the 19th European Health Psychology Conference in Galway. The theme of this conference is “Enhancing Individual, Family and Community Health”.

“A conference of this nature provides a forum where those interested in mental well-being can meet. It provides an opportunity to consider the changes which have been taking place in the delivery of mental health services throughout Europe and to exchange views on the direction which our policies might take for the future” the Minister said.

In his address, the Minister stated 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” the Minister said.

The Minister referred to the significant improvements made in recent years in community facilities. “Enormous strides have been made and continue to be made in developing a comprehensive, community-based service which is integrated with other health services” the Minister added. Minister O’Malley stated that the Government is committed to the provision of quality care in the area of mental health, and that the provision of additional funding in recent years has allowed for the development and enhancement of multi-disciplinary teams in the areas of child and adolescent psychiatry, psychiatry of later life, liaison psychiatry, rehabilitation psychiatry and suicide prevention programmes and support for the voluntary sector.

“During my term of office as Minister of State with special responsibility for mental health, I am endeavouring to continue to accelerate the growth in more appropriate care facilities for people with a mental illness through the further development of community-based facilities throughout the country.” said the Minister.

Minister O’Malley paid tribute to all involved in the work of the society. “I believe that the services provided by members of the society are of real practical value to the many people and their families” he said.