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Mental Health Reform July 2016 Newsletter

Minister Helen McEntee addresses the MHR AGM 2016


Welcome to the July 2016 edition of the Mental Health Reform newsletter.
A lot has been happening in the political arena over the past few months not least of which was the appointment of a new minority Government earlier this year.  MHR's influence is evident in the new Programme for Government.
Together we must continue to campaign to ensure that mental health remains a priority for everyone in Leinster House.
Regards, Shari

Minister Helen McEntee attends MHR AGM 2016 

 Members attending the MHR AGM 2016

The recently appointed mental health minister has said she is committed to promoting positive mental health.  

Addressing the Mental Health Reform (MHR) AGM on Wednesday 06 July last, Minister Helen McEntee Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for mental health, said the two main objectives in her new role were to promote the importance of a national conversation to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health difficulties and to ensure mental health services are in place for those who need them.

“For me the vision for mental health and as Minister, is to get to a stage where it is ok to talk about it,” Minister McEntee said.

My job is to get the conversation moving and to make sure that it is underpinned by the services, she added.

Minister McEntee said the review of A Vision for Change and the establishment of the National Taskforce on Youth mental health were among the key priorities identified by the new government in its partnership agreement.

Minister McEntee also said that the new Government was committed to increasing funding for mental health year on year.

In conclusion the Minister said she looked forward to working with all those represented at the AGM and would ask MHR members for their advice, expertise and support in her new role.


Mental Health Reform AGM 2016

Dr Shari McDaid, Director MHR and Minister Helen McEntee

Mental Health Reform (MHR) held its 2016 AGM on Wednesday 06 July at 9am in the Carmichael Centre in Dublin.

The meeting was extremely well attended and we were delighted that Minister Helen McEntee Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for mental health, agreed to speak at the event.

Following the Minister’s Address the Director of MHR Dr Shari McDaid gave a presentation entitled ‘Public Affairs in a Changing Environment’ in which she outlined MHR’s analysis of the Programme for Government and the meetings MHR has had with members of the new Government over the past few months in an effort to keep mental health firmly on the political agenda.

Three directors officially resigned from the Board of Directors of MHR at the AGM .These were: Paul Flynn, Board Member, Service User Expert Director; Jacinta Hastings, Board Member; and Sam McGuinness Board Member.


The AGM also welcomed two new Directors to the Board. These were Ali Rochford, Gateway Mental Health and Majella Darcy, Dublin Simon.


Two vacancies still exist on the Board of Directors and members are invited to nominate suitable individuals to these vacancies.

MHR's Annual Report for 2015 was also launched at the AGM and you can read a copy here.


New Head of Service User, Family Members and Carer Engagement appointed

The HSE has appointed Mr Liam Hennessy as the new Head of Service User Engagement.

A user of the mental health services himself, Liam has a background in teaching and has worked as a senior civil servant, a management consultant and, most recently, as the Service User, Assistant Inspector of Mental Health Services at the Mental Health Commission. Liam was Chair of St Patrick’s University Hospital Consumer and Carers’ Council and joint Chair of REFOCUS (Recovery Experience Forum of Carers and Users of Services), a committee of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland. 

 You can contact Liam by emailing:

Commitment to address housing needs of people with mental health difficulties welcome

The Government published its National Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness this week and Mental Health Reform, welcomed a commitment in the new Plan to address the housing needs of people with mental health difficulties.

Commenting on Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, Dr Shari McDaid, Director of MHR said “In today’s plan the Department of Housing commits to work with the HSE and local authorities on all housing issues for people transitioning from HSE accommodation and for clients of the mental health services living in community-based accommodation. We welcome this commitment and look forward to further details on how this will work in practice.”

Mental Health Reform welcomed a number of other initiatives contained in the Action Plan such as a commitment to improve mental health and primary care services for homeless people, the extension of tenancy sustainment measures nationwide and increased rent supplement and Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) limits.

However Dr McDaid added: “there is no mention of a dedicated funding stream to provide medium and long-term visiting support to individuals with mental health difficulties. Mental Health Reform has been advocating for funding for visiting support since 2013 and it is vital that the Government acts to provide this funding in the 2017 budget.”

Policy news and submissions

We are currently working on a submission of A Review of A Vision for Change and our Pre budget submission both of which have been sent out to members for their views. Once we have the final agreed versions of these submissions we will make them available online.

New faces at MHR

There has been a few changes to the MHR team in recent months with the appointment of June Shannon who takes over from Lara Kelly as Communications and Campaigns Officer while Lara is on maternity leave and Esther Murphy who has been appointed Senior Research Officer. We have also welcomed two new interns to the team. These are Rachel Burke, Communications and Campaigns intern and Holly Ryan, Policy and Research Intern.

Fundraising news

We would like to give a huge shout out to out wonderful supporter Anne Ellis who over the past few months has done sterling work fundraising for MHR. Anne organised a bag pack in Dunnes and she also ran a charity Walk entitled ‘The Walk of Hope into Light’ on Saturday 21st into Sunday 22nd May at 4.30am. In total Anne raised a whopping €2,450 for MHR and we are eternally grateful to her for her support.
If you would like to fundraise for MHR please contact Ray Burke email:


Copyright © 2016 Mental Health Reform, All rights reserved.

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