Politicians urged to prioritise mental health

Helping those suffering from mental illness must be made a priority by the next Government, campaigners will insist today.

Helping those suffering from mental illness must be made a priority by the next Government, campaigners will insist today.

The call will come from a coalition of lobby groups who hope to move the issue up the political agenda ahead of the forthcoming general election.

Representatives of all the main parties have been asked to detail their plans for tackling mental illness at a special conference to be held today.

The event in Dublin’s Mansion House is being organised by the Irish Mental Health Coalition representing Amnesty International, Bodywhys (the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland), GROW in Ireland, the Irish Advocacy Network and Schizophrenia Ireland.

The health spokesperson for each party is being invited to present their policies in the area of mental health.

Chair of the Irish Mental Health Coalition John Saunders said the event is open to the public and will see a full debate on the issues.

“Whatever party – or combination of parties – forms the next Government, the opportunity will exist to resolve most of the glaring inadequacies and inequities in our mental health services,” said Mr Saunders.

“The debate will demonstrate who has the commitment and determination to deliver for some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”

The Irish Mental Health Coalition was launched in June 2006 and advocates for the right to the highest attainable standard of mental health care in Ireland.

Its establishment followed the publication in 2006 of the National Mental Health Strategy, A Vision for Change.

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