Mental Health Ireland has welcomed the publication today (Wednesday June 17th) of the new national mental health policy and called for continuous investment and monitoring of its implementation.
The policy, ‘Sharing the Vision – a Mental Health policy for Everyone’ was launched today by the Department of Health as a roadmap for the provision of mental health services in Ireland over the next 10 years.
The new policy focuses on mental health promotion, recovery, the prevention of mental ill health and early intervention, service access, co-ordination and continuity of care, social inclusion, accountability and continuous improvement. It fully recognises the vital role played by the Community and Voluntary sector.
The new policy focuses on developing a broad based, whole system health care policy, while providing effective specialist mental health services. It is refreshing that this new policy is less fixated on service models, but instead is focused on the individual experiencing mental health challenges and their needs.
Mental Health Ireland welcomed the emphasis on the person engaged with services, as they work towards their recovery and return to a full life within the community. The role of family members and the support of friends is also acknowledged and valued in this policy.
The charity stressed the importance of a policy that embraces recovery as the core objective of services, and one that recognises Recovery Education and Peer Support as key enablers to support a person to manage their own mental health.
Building upon the work achieved under A Vision for Change, the charity called for the Department of Health to continuously invest in modern mental health services in line international best practice, European norms and WHO recommendations.
The charity also welcomed the focus of the policy on promoting positive mental health and wellbeing for all members of the community, while using robust, structured and evidence based initiatives. Volunteers with Mental Health Ireland has been promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing in Ireland for over 50 years.
Martin Rogan CEO Mental Health Ireland says,
“A Vision for Change allowed us to open up traditional mental health services and to be more inclusive of the perspective of people who use services and their families. Now we have a chance to build upon this platform and to move forward together with renewed confidence.
“Our strategy ‘Empowerment – from Ideas to Action’, commits to bringing policy objectives to life and to every community in Ireland and we aim to be a pragmatic partner in the realisation of this new public mental health policy.
“Having properly funded mental health services which can respond in a timely and empathetic manner is a vital element, but is just one component of achieving better mental health for every member of our community. We welcome the positive and inclusive tone, the core principles and the practical sense of urgency struck in this new mental health policy.
“Our Staff and Volunteers work in co-production with people with lived experience and family members to foster and facilitate all aspects of recovery and to foster a sense of self agency and decision making.
“The publication of ‘Sharing the Vision – a Mental Health policy for Everyone‘ creates an exciting opportunity to look afresh at what we want and need from our mental health services. When policy makers, services, citizens and communities work together, we can create positive and lasting outcomes for mental health, and recovery in Ireland.”