Press Release

Minister Shortall to chair first National Infant Mental Health Forum

The Minister for Primary Care, Róisín Shortall T.D. will tomorrow (Friday 7th October, 2011) at 9am in Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth Street, chair the first National Infant Mental Health Forum.The forum will present a unique opportunity to:

  • focus on the social, emotional and developmental needs of children 0-3 years, our youngest citizens and the foundation stone of our future success,
  • highlight the importance of integrated policy development, led by Government, in maximising the effective and strategic use of resources,
  • facilitate policy makers and practitioners and clinicians across multiple disciplines, including public health nursing, social work, speech and language therapy, and psychology to come together to consider policy and practice development for this critical life stage

“I welcome the invitation to chair this Forum as the presentations, round table discussions and plenary session will provide critical insights and guidance on infant mental health as a prevention strategy and its contribution to tackling the underlying causes of poor social, emotional and physical wellbeing” said Minister Shortall

The Minister added: “The Programme for Government emphasises the renewed priority that will be given to Primary Care. There is significant potential for Primary Care to encompass a holistic understanding of the needs of 0-3’s and the role of promotion and prevention strategies with this age group to contribute to a more healthy society and cost-effective health service. The 0-3 period is a critical life stage that provides policy makers and practitioners with an unprecedented window of opportunity to support holistic child development. To examine and reflect on just how best to do that is the task of this Forum.”

The forum have invited two key-note speakers , Mr. George Hoskings, the chief executive of Wave Trust, a UK charity dedicated to tackling the root causes of violence in society and Catherine Maguire, a senior clinical psychologist with the HSE North Cork.