Please see below a round-up of recent Mental Health Reform news.
We started our budget campaign very early: Mental Health Reform's Pre Budget Submission went out to all TDs and Senators in July and our budget campaign "Fight for Mental Health" was officially launched by Michael Carruth and Eric Donovan in October. Over 6,000 of you signed our petition to hold staffing levels at the levels in place at the start of 2011 and we sent 1,500 emails to TDs asking them not to cut mental health services. Minister for Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch accepted our petition on November 30th and thanked us for our contribution.
We met with a lot of TDs and Senators in the last few weeks and a debate on mental health was held in the Dáil and over 30 parliamentary questions were asked about our budget recommendations. We also held a briefing for TDs and Senators on November 30th and over 30 of them attended putting mental health firmly on the budgetary agenda.
You can read our whole budget submission here
In the capital expenditure announcement, a new central mental hospital was one of four major capital investments for next year.
On Monday, Minister Brendan Howlin announced a €35 million investment into the development of community mental health services. We would not have achieved this without your support.Thank you!
He also announced a 2% efficiency savings and with your help we will continue to seek protection of mental health services.
Where to now?
In our budget reaction
, Mental Health Reform welcomed the investment of €35m for community mental health services but have warned that this money will get lost within the HSE without the appointment of a Director for Mental Health Services with full accountability and budgetary authority. The Irish Times
, Irish Examiner
, Irish Medical Times
and Morning Ireland all featured our comments.
We have set up a facility on our website where you can thank your TDs
for all they have done for mental health and ask them to put in place a Director to ensure the €35m will be used for its intended purpose.
Mental Health Act
A Mental Health Reform delegation including legal advisor to our board, Mary Donnelly and former director Caroline McGrath, met with the Department of Health Steering Group for the Review of the Mental Health Act. Minister Lynch has previously stated that she expects the consultation process to be complete by June 2012. You can ready our submission here.