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Welcome to Mental Health Reform's February newsletter.

The death of Jonathan Corrie on the streets of Dublin in early December highlighted the issues facing people who are homeless. Mental Health Reform is particularly concerned about people who are experiencing homelessness and mental health difficulties/addiction, as this group can fall through the cracks. MHR attended the Government's Homeless Summit in December. In this newsletter, we share our view on homelessness and mental health, and update you on some recent commitments from Government and the HSE.
MHR Irish Times article on mental health and homelessness 

Last month, The Irish Times published an opinion piece from MHR Director Shari McDaid, which made the point that homeless people with mental health difficulties need more than just a roof over their heads, for instance tenancy sustainment  and social supports.

The article went on to point out that a high incidence of mental health difficulties has been reported by homelessness groups, with Dublin Simon Community reporting in 2014 that 71 per cent of people using their services had a mental health difficulty.

You can read the full article here.

An update on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

In an effort to improve the performance of CAMHS, the HSE has set up a CAMHS Service Improvement Working Group. The Children's Mental Health Coalition (chaired by Mental Health Reform) has made a submission to this group.

Some of the issues that Mental Health Reform is aware of within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services include difficulties accessing services, waiting times, gaps in services for 16/17 year olds and the continuing admission of children to adult psychiatric units.

The CAMHS Improvement Project aims to develop a set of clear written instructions to ensure uniformity of services across the country. These "Standard Operating Procedures"  will be based on a literature review of evidence-based best practice internationally, legislation and policy direction.

The Children's Mental Health Coalition will be advising the CAMHS Improvement Working Group on the new Standard Operating Procedures. 

Mental health information at your fingertips...

If you or someone you know is looking for information on mental health services and supports, our website is the place to go. It lists the services and supports of our 50 member organisations, including helplines, support groups, training courses, information on benefits and housing, and more.
An update on recent Government commitments on mental health services for homeless people

In early December, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government published an Action Plan to Address Homelessness. The plan included a commitment to ensure that mental health and primary care services provide "in-reach services" to all emergency accommodation settings across the Dublin Region.

The action plan also commits to ensuring that, as far as possible, no patient will be discharged into homelessness. In the Tallaght mental health services between October 2012 and September 2013, every nine and a half days someone was discharged into homelessness. The action plan sets an objective of implementing a formal discharge protocol with Dublin hospitals and homeless services.

In late December, the Department gave an update on progress to date, including: 
  • co-ordination at senior management level of health services for the homeless in the Dublin region
  • plans to make it easier for homeless people to access services by having service providers come to them, rather than the other way around.
The HSE has also committed to an additional 7.5 full time posts for homeless outreach mental health teams.
Run or walk for MHR in 2015!

If you believe in Mental Health Reform's vision of mental health services that help people to recover their well-being, join our movement for change by supporting our work.

By signing up to the Dublin women's mini marathon and other race events, you can help to raise funds to support MHR's work in 2015.

Entries are now open for the Dublin mini marathon on 1st June. Sign up here or check out the other race events we highlight on our MyCharity page. Contact us on or call us on (01) 8749468 to order a t-shirt and let us know about your plans. Thank you!
Mental Health Reform 

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