Ministers Harris and Daly launch report of the National Youth Mental Health Task Force
Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly TD today (Tuesday) launched the report of the National Youth Mental Health Task Force.
Launching the report Minister Harris said, “We know that mental health and well-being issues can arise at an early age. The journey from child to adult can be complex and challenging and the pressures of growing up can be very hard for some children and young people. This Task Force was convened in the autumn of last year and brought together a diverse range of perspectives and insights from public, private, community and voluntary sectors. Today’s report makes recommendations in 10 themed areas of significance to young people aged between 0-25 which will now be implemented across all relevant departments and agencies.”
Welcoming the launch of today’s report Minister Daly said “Childhood and teenage years should be happy – they should be a fun and carefree time when individuality flourishes. While this is generally the case, it can for some be a very difficult and vulnerable time for myriad reasons. The Task Force was aware of the importance of listening to the voice of young people, and keen for that voice to be reflected in the outcomes of its work. As part of the Task Force process, numerous engagement events with young people were carried out, and the recommendations reflect the outcomes of these events.”
The Task Force brought together representatives from the statutory, voluntary and youth sectors and maintained an exclusive youth focus. Several youth consultation sessions were held, followed by a consultative seminar.
The Report sets out 22 actions that will work to improve youth mental health in Ireland. Implementation of the the actions has already begun, with many actions incorporated into service agreements with Government Departments, the HSE and Tusla.
Notes to the Editor
Read the Report and consultation documents on the Department’s website here
The Programme for Partnership Government (2016) committed to the establishment of a National Task Force on Youth Mental Health “to consider how best to introduce and teach resilience, coping mechanisms, greater awareness to children and young people, and how to access support services voluntarily at a young age.” Following stakeholder consultation the Task Force agreed upon ten recommendation themes, each with specific actions aimed at improving youth mental health outcomes. The themes are:
1. Consultation and advocacy.
2. Awareness and training.
3. Online mental health supports.
4. Supporting families to promote mental health in young people.
5. Schools and youth mental health.
6. Mental health supports in Higher Education Institutions.
7. Community supports for Youth Mental Health.
8. Accessibility and alignment of Mental Health Services.
9. Consent issues.
10. Improving knowledge through research.
The actions will be implemented over a period of three years and will enhance current mental health services and supports for children and young people.