Press Release

Minister O’Malley welcomes first annual report of the Independent Monitoring Group on “A Vision for Change”

Mr Tim O’Malley, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children today, 31st May, 2007 welcomed the Report of the Independent Monitoring Group on “A Vision for Change” – the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy.

In March 2006, Minister O’Malley established this Independent Monitoring Group to monitor and assess progress on the implementation of “A Vision for Change”. This Report from the Monitoring Group gives a detailed account of the progress in implementing many of the recommendations in “A Vision for Change”.

The Minister welcomed the findings in the Report that important first steps have been taken to implement the recommendations of “A Vision for Change”. The Report acknowledges that 2006 was a year of significant challenge and change for the mental health services. However, in recognising that some positive developments had taken place, the Report highlights a number of issues which will require further attention. These include a systematic approach to implementation of the Report and clarity in responsibility for implementation in the Health Service Executive.

In 2006, an additional €26.2 million was made available for the further development of our mental health services in line with “A Vision for Change”. A further sum of €25 million was allocated in 2007 to continue this development. The Minister said “this level of funding is ahead of the level suggested in “A Vision for Change” which estimated the overall revenue costs associated with its implementation at €150 million over a seven to ten year period. This year in the region of €1 billion will be spent on mental health services”.

The Minister added ““A Vision for Change” has been accepted by Government as the basis for the future development of our mental health services. I recognise that much work needs to be done and I understand that the Health Service Executive is finalising an Implementation Plan. I look forward to seeing increased activity in the second and subsequent years”.

The Minister thanked the members of the Independent Monitoring Group for their hard work and wished them well in their future endeavours.

View the Report