Passage of Mental Health Act Amendment Bill through Dáil Welcomed by Mental Health Reform

Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, welcomed the passage of the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill through report stage in the Dáil today.

Referring to the Bill, Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform said, “People who need inpatient treatment for acute mental distress cannot wait any longer for their rights to be protected. We welcome the swift passage of the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2017 through the Dáil and ask that it be progressed through the remaining legislative stages as quickly as possible.”

Dr. McDaid continued, “It is vital that mental health service users are reassured about their rights when in hospital so that they can confidently seek help. Successive Governments have repeatedly failed to meet their own timetable for updating the Mental Health Act, 2001. A recent evaluation of involuntary detention commissioned by the Mental Health Commission has shown that some service users feel coerced, disempowered and unsupported when being admitted to a psychiatric inpatient unit and that this had a long-term negative impact on their recovery. This Bill represents a small but significant step towards better protection of individuals’ rights, but the Government must now move to publish the full legislation to update the Act and give effect to the recommendations of the Expert Group because only then will mental health service users’ rights be fully protected.”

About Mental Health Reform
Mental Health Reform is the national coalition promoting improved mental health services and the social inclusion of people with mental health difficulties. The coalition currently has 59 member organisations. See for more details. Mental Health Reform acknowledges the support of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019.

For more information please contact:

Shari McDaid
Executive Director
Mental Health Reform
Coleraine House
Coleraine St
Dublin 7
01 874 9468
086 044 6696

Notes for Editors:
Mental Health Reform’s briefing note on the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2017 is available at


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