First Meeting 06/09/2016
On 06/09/16 we had our first meeting of the new National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health. As promised here is the first of my monthly blogs to update you all on the progress of the group. I am so excited and encouraged by this hugely productive meeting. I am delighted to say that we have an excellent, passionate and diverse group on board. This is an area that I am deeply committed to and it was truly heart-warming to know that everyone in the room wanted the same thing – to make a real and lasting change in the area of youth mental health and wellbeing. The Taskforce is to act as a galvanising force to improve:
- Emotional literacy and reducing stigma so that we build capability to talk about mental health as openly as physical or dental health
- Awareness of services and supports
- Accessibility to services and supports at different times and in different areas
- Alignment of services and supports across different providers (public organisations, private organisations, community organisations, voluntary organisations etc.)
To give us some background and context for our work, we had an excellent presentation from Dr Tony Bates, CEO of Jigsaw, who talked through the findings from the My World Survey. Tony also gave the group some insights into the work of Jigsaw on both a local and national level. Colm Desmond of the Mental Health Unit in the Department of Health explained the policy context within which we are working, including the many different stakeholders, both NGOs and state bodies. It gave us a great overview of what’s on the youth mental health and wellbeing agenda before we got down to the business of mapping out what success will look like for our Taskforce.
Our next meeting will be held on 4th October, but we’ll all be working away in the meantime. A full list of the Taskforce members is available and hopefully these blogs will give you a taste of how our work is progressing.
Talk soon, Helen