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Welcome to Mental Health Reform's round up of news & events.
Please forward this email to anybody interested in reforming mental health services and ask them to sign up too.

In this edition:

MHR news
Sector news
Members' News
MHR News

Meeting with Minister Lynch

Mental Health Reform met with Minister Kathleen Lynch in mid-May to discuss our Agenda for Action, and to highlight our concerns regarding the delay in the appointment of a national Director for Mental Health with overall responsibility for the spending of €35 million on community mental health, as promised by the Government in Budget 2012. The Minister restated her commitment to the appointment of a Director and to the development of community mental health services. We will be putting pressure on Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, to fast-track this important appointment. Watch out for our upcoming urgent action on this issue.  

Agenda for Action

Mental Health Reform is continuing to distribute our Agenda for Action to politicians, mental health organisations, academics and others interested in mental health issues. You can read the Agenda here

Mental Health Reform Submissions

MHR has made a number of submissions on mental health issues recently, including a submission to the Interdepartmental Group working on criminal justice and health.
We highlighted the need to 1) progress development of regional forensic intensive care units, 2) provide therapeutic services for people with what is called ‘personality disorder’, 3) provide integrated addiction and mental health services within the prison system, 4) provide legislation to underpin court diversion and 5) adequate follow-on mental health support in the community for ex-prisoners 

Sector News

Mental Health Commission annual report

Mental Health Reform welcomed the launch of the Mental Health Commission's annual report on 4th April. We expressed concern that the Inspector of Mental Health Services found "staff are being re-deployed from the community to inpatient units and staff, formerly allocated to therapeutic activities, have been transferred to duties more custodial in nature". 

Members' News

Upcoming courses in Gateway, Dublin

The following courses are coming up in Gateway Mental Health Project, Rathmines. There are still some places left and are these open to people with self-experience of mental health. Preference will be given to people from the Dublin 4, 6, 6W, 12 and 14 areas. For more details go to or ring Martha on 01 4965558
WRAP: Wellness Recovery Action Plan 8 week course, Saturdays starting 30th June 2012.
Taster Day: 19th of May 2012 at Gateway drop-in from 1.00pm - 3.00pm.
Course Fee: €30.00 for the 8 weeks.
Assertiveness & Confidence Building: 21 Week Programme on Wednesday and Fridays afternoons starting in July and finishing in November.
Taster Day: 27th June 2012 at Gateway drop-in from 3.00pm to 5.00pm.
Course Fee: €42.00 for 21 weeks including FETAC accreditation.

Making a Ripple in the fight against stigma

MHR member Shine manages the See Change campaign, which works to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems. Check out their great new radio ad campaign, Make a Ripplehere.

Public meetings in May

Had experience of the mental health services? We want to hear from you.

Mental Health Reform is continuing our series of public consultation meetings on quality mental health services:
Portlaoise: Tuesday 22nd May from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. The meeting will be held at the National Learning Network Centre, Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
Galway: Monday 28th May from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. The meeting will be held at Jigsaw Galway, Fairgreen Road, The Docks, Galway City.
We want to hear from anyone with an interest in mental health about their experience of mental health and related services and how these could be improved. Please confirm your attendance by calling 01 612 1422 or by emailing Let us know which meeting you’d like to attend and if you have any accessibility requirements. 

Training sessions

Mental Health Reform has run a number of training sessions this year:
We facilitated a session with the service users' and families' forum of the College of Psychiatry;
We provided mentoring for the Limerick Consumer Panel.
In June, we'll be running collective advocacy training training for Consumer Panels in Cork North Lee, Cork South Lee and North Dublin. 

National Disability Strategy

Mental Health Reform and the National Service Users Executive are representing the mental health sector on the Disability Stakeholders' Group. A series of meetings are planned towards the development of a three year implementation plan for the National Disability Strategy with a first draft  expected by the September.

HSE launch of Guidance and Value for Money report

The HSE has launched Guidance Papers for Advancing Mental Health Services in Ireland, a resource document to enable community mental health teams to advance services in Ireland.
Also launched by the HSE was the Value for Money Report, A comparison of cost and quality in two models of Adult Mental Health Service provision in Kildare, which Mental Health Reform welcomed as "a timely report, which supports a community model of mental health services as the best way to achieve a good quality, cost effective service".

Irish Times letter on capacity

Mental Health Reform is participating in a group looking at legal capacity, led by Amnesty International Ireland and the NUI Galway Centre for Disability, Law and Policy. In May, the Irish Times published a joint letter on the Mental Capacity Bill from this group. We called on the Government to introduce legislation on legal capacity, which would support people to make key decisions on issues like medical treatment, and would take into account the will and preference of the person involved. This new law will have profound implications for tens of thousands of people experiencing mental health problems, intellectual disabilities, dementia and neurological difficulties.   

A look at youth mental health

The number one health issue for young people is their mental health. Timely, then, that we have two new pieces of research featured in this Newsletter:
The Oireachtas Cross Party Group on Mental Health, which works closely with Mental Health Reform and Amnesty International, launched research at the end of April, Well-being: promoting mental health in schoolswhich examines the crucial role schools can play in protecting young people’s mental health.
MHR member, Headstrong, has just launched the results of a two-year study into the mental health of 12-25 year olds. The My World Survey found that
·         One good adult is important to the mental health of young people
·         Not talking about problems is linked to suicidal behaviour
·         Those who share their problems enjoy better mental health   

Mental Health Reform

6-9 Trinity Street
Dublin 2
Phone: 01 6121422
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