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Findings of Mental Health Commission Report must be acted on – Adams

22 June, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, has said the Government must act on the findings of the annual report published on Monday by the Mental Health Commission.

Teachta Adams said: 

“There isn’t a single family across the island that hasn’t been affected by the challenges of mental health issues. It is accepted that one in seven adults will experience mental health challenges in any given year, and the real figures for suicide across the island are as high as 1,000 people annually.

“The Mental Health Commission has undertaken a strategic review as part of developing a new strategic plan for 2016-2018, which it published on Monday.

“The Commission’s report illustrates how much remains to be done, including the need for independent monitoring of the State’s mental health strategy ‘Vision for Change’, which has been in place since 2006. That should happen urgently.

“There are also huge issues surrounding funding, or the lack of it. The current level of funding for mental health is still less than the 8.24% target, based on 2005 figures envisaged in ‘A Vision for Change’.

“According to the report, there is a serious deficiency in the development and provision of recovery orientated mental health services. This concept of aiding a person’s recovery, rather than simply managing their illness is a crucial aspect of mental healthcare.

“The Commission also expresses concern about the admission of children to adult services. In 2015, a total of 95 children were admitted to adult units. This is totally shocking and unacceptable.

“The Government has also yet to bring in draft legislation to bring about the changes envisaged in the review of the Mental Health Act 2001, which was published in December 2014.

“The Government must act on the findings of this report without delay”. 

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