Minister to meet constituents to discuss mental health law

Minister to meet constituents to discuss mental health law

11 July 2012

Cork representatives, including Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health, will meet constituents to discuss improvements to Ireland’s Mental Health Act later today.

People with personal experience of mental health problems are meeting Minister Lynch, other Cork TDs and Senators to discuss their personal experiences with a view to influencing the Government’s current review of the Act.

Diarmaid Ring, service user activist and member of Amnesty International Ireland’s Expert by Experience Advisory Group said: “We as service users, family members and carers will be bringing our own grassroots experience of the mental health services to the table.

“It is crucial the experiences of service users are heard by those developing mental health law and policy, so they can introduce mental health law in line with the latest human rights standards.

“One of the key things we need to challenge is the current ethos of using mental health law to ‘contain’ and instead champion the ethos of recovery, as outlined in the Government’s mental health policy, A Vision for Change.”

Karol Balfe, Mental Health Campaign Coordinator, Amnesty International Ireland, said: “This is a great opportunity for politicians and policy makers to hear from those directly affected and ensure the changes they propose will really improve the experience for people with mental health problems.

“Today’s meeting is particularly timely as the Government is in the middle of its own review of the 2001 Mental Health Act and last month published its initial report.”

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