TDs: Publish new mental health strategy document

‘Updated mental health policy critical to Programme for Government talks and post-Covid-19 planning’

A cross-party group of TDs is calling on the Government to publish immediately an updated version of the mental health strategy document, A Vision for Change.

In a letter to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly, as well as a number of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Green Party, Social Democrats, and independent deputies, said an updated mental health policy was critical to Programme for Government talks and post-Covid-19 planning.

The letter was signed by James Browne, Fianna Fáil; Pat Buckley, Sinn Féin; Mattie McGrath, Independent; Denis Naughten, Independent; Carol Nolan, Independent; Róisín Shortall, Social Democrats; and Ossian Smyth, Green Party.

They wrote: “Following Minister Harris’ statements in the Dáil on May 14th and 21st, expressing eagerness to engage with parties on when the refresh of A Vision for Change should be published, we are writing to inform you that we believe that the refresh of A Vision for Change should be published immediately.

“The publication of the refresh is urgent both in the context of the Programme for Government talks and to allow for immediate and cohesive post-Covid-19 planning for mental health services and support across the country.”

The letter was published on the website of campaign group Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health which represents more than 70 organisations.

According to the Health Service Executive, A Vision for Change was developed by an expert group of health service managers, representatives of voluntary organisations and service user groups and health researchers to foster positive mental health across communities and help provide accessible, community-based, specialist services for people with mental illness.

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