Local Election candidates asked to make mental health a priority

A joint campaign by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the national coalition Mental Health Reform is asking Local Election candidates to commit to making mental health a priority locally, if elected.

Denise McCarthy, USI Deputy President & VP Welfare said:
“With four weeks until the Local Elections on 23rd May, the 4MentalHealth campaign asks candidates to take four key actions to promote mental health and well-being. The 2014 Local Elections represent an important opportunity to keep mental health on the agenda, and we’re asking voters to make their vote count.”

Candidates are being asked, if elected, to:
1. Demand improved community-based mental health services locally for children and adults, and the implementation of the current mental health policy A Vision for Change.
2. Commit to funding for local community mental health groups that support recovery from mental health difficulties.
3. Ensure that there is effective communication between local authorities and community mental health teams, in order to prevent homelessness.
4. Pass a Council resolution stating that in its work, the Council will seek to promote mental health and well-being among the whole local population.

Dr Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform, commented:
“One in seven adults in Ireland will have experienced a mental health difficulty in the last year. This is an issue that affects every community in Ireland. A lot can be done at local level to improve people’s mental health and well-being, and we hope that candidates from all political parties and none will undertake to promote community mental health services and related supports in their area.”

Voters can contact their local candidates via www.mentalhealthreform.ie.
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