‘Little action on mental proposals’

THE Government has been accused of failing to deliver on mental health commitments by a coalition of campaign groups.

The Mental Health Coalition said last night that “very little” of the recommendations in the “Vision for Change” report had been delivered upon.

The report was produced for the Government in 2006 by an expert group which laid out a comprehensive policy framework for the improvement of mental health services over the next seven to 10 years.

Coalition chairman John Saunders said the report had contained “the right signposts” for mental health services, but that since its publication, the actions undertaken by the Government had been “very limited”.

“Unless progress is accelerated, the seven-year timetable will become irrelevant very soon. This would seriously undermine our already under-resourced mental health services,” he said.

Mr Saunders said that the coalition was seeking wideranging changes in the management and organisation of mental health services “as a matter of priority”.

These changes would include the establishment of a national Mental Health Directorate, as well as “concrete moves” towards the recruitment of sufficient healthcare personnel and full resourcing of community mental health teams.

He was speaking at a seminar in Dublin organised by the coalition, which comprises Amnesty International, Bodywhys, GROW, the Irish Advocacy Network and Schizophrenia Ireland.

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