People with mental health difficulties must have their rights respected

Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, is today reacting with concern to the Mental Health Commission’s annual report for 2019.

“The Mental Health Commission’s annual report marks another year where we have failed to make a meaningful impact on the delivery of fundamental improvements in mental health services in Ireland.

Behind every number in this report is a person whose rights and dignity are not being fully respected.  Each and every individual who uses our mental health services deserves appropriate care and support which promotes their rights to autonomy, respect and self-determination. In many places, the findings from the report are stark, including the continued lack of compliance with individual care recovery planning. It is essential that individuals have a voice and are decision makers in their own mental health care and treatment. Also of concern in the report is the significant drop in compliance on rules on seclusion compared to 2018 – a practice that can have harmful physical and psychological effects. High support or 24-hour community residences remain unregulated, despite poor conditions in some, the lack of a therapeutic and recovery focus and ongoing institutional practices.

The new Government must act immediately to resource and implement our new national mental health policy Sharing the Vision and quickly update Ireland’s outdated mental health law to ensure that people have their rights adequately protected if and when they access mental health services. Access to modern, recovery focused and human rights based services is not a commodity; it is a fundamental right to be claimed by children, young people and adults in Ireland.” Fiona Coyle, CEO.


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