Mental Health Reform in today’s Irish Times

Mental health group welcomes reforms


CAMPAIGN GROUP Mental Health Reform has welcomed Minister for Health James Reilly’s decision to proceed with establishing a new structure for the HSE. It will include a new directorate of mental health.

Under the heads of a Bill approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, the HSE board will be abolished and a new directorate system for running the health service will be established.

The reconfigured structure will see the establishment of a directorate for mental health services for the first time.

Mental Health Reform director Orla Barry said there was “an urgent need” for a director to oversee the implementation of the Government’s plans to modernise psychiatric services.

“The new director for mental health is crucial in order to oversee the €35 million committed in budget 2012 for community-based mental health services, and also to ensure that the staff promised in the HSE’s 2012 service plan are put in place by the end of the year,” she said.

“A director will bring much-needed dedicated national leadership, to ensure that the budget for mental health services is used in the most effective way to deliver the Government’s mental health policy.”

Ms Barry stressed the importance of expediting the recruitment process for a new director so that plans to modernise the system could be accelerated.

The State’s A Vision for Change document, published in 2006, outlines a 10-year strategy to shift care from antiquated institutions to multidisciplinary community-based centres.

The absence of a body to drive change at an executive level within the HSE has been highlighted by interest groups and by the independent monitoring group established to oversee the strategy as one of the primary reasons for the slow pace of reform.


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