Liadh Ní Riada MEP calls for a “movement for improved mental health services” following visit of delegation to European Parliament
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for a “movement for improved mental health services” in Ireland.
Her call came following a the visit, to the European Parliament, of a delegation of over forty people, who work and campaign in the area of mental health and suicide prevention in Ireland.
The delegation, arranged by Liadh Ní Riada MEP, was made up of participants from organisations such as participants such as Pieta House, Mental Health Ireland, Action Mental Health, SOSAD, 3TS and Mental Health reform.
They were joined by practitioners, advocates and campaigners, academics, individuals involved in promotion and prevention, and those with personal experience of mental illness.
Ní Riada said;
“The sharing of knowledge and experiences by members of the delegation was inspiring and this convinced me that a movement for the improvement of mental health services in Ireland is possible.
“We need to move from a model of individual campaigns to a model of a joined-up movement with the aim of placing mental health and the improvement of mental services at the centre of life in Ireland.
“The groups represented on this delegation do trojan work in the area of mental health and suicide prevention in Ireland.
“Unfortunately, the current government seems to lack the political will to implement good policy in this area. It is clear that we need to look at developing a national suicide prevention strategy and the adoption of an approach to mental health from a holistic perspective and with a community-led ethos.
“Today’s engagement was about giving advocates and professionals from mental health organisations the opportunity to discuss issues with each other while engaging with the European Commission as a collective.
“This was Sinn Féin helping to facilitate these amazing organisations in the sharing of experience, best practice and suicide prevention.
“Suicide as we know crosses all boundaries. Suicide is totally indiscriminate. We hear of even kids and the elderly taking their own lives because they feel that they have no other way out. This unacceptable and totally negligent on the part of the state.
“It is important that the productive work carried out by the delegation today is advanced and built upon.
“I believe we have laid some foundations for a joined-up movement for the improvement of mental health services in Ireland.”