Mental Health Reform call on Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health to Urgently Update Mental Health Act, 2001
Mental Health Reform has today called on the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health to quickly progress the Mental Health (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2017 to the next stage of the legislative process, when it considers the Bill tomorrow morning. The Bill is the first Private Members Bill to be considered by the Committee.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, said “People who need inpatient treatment for acute mental distress cannot wait any longer for their rights to be fully protected. The Mental Health (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2017, needs to be passed by the Committee tomorrow, so that it can continue its swift passage through the Dáil and into law.”
Dr. McDaid continued, “Successive Governments have repeatedly failed to meet their own timetable for updating the Mental Health Act, 2001. A recent evaluation of involuntary detention commissioned by the Mental Health Commission has shown that some service users feel coerced, disempowered and unsupported when being admitted to a psychiatric inpatient unit and that this had a long-term negative impact on their recovery. It is vital that mental health service users are reassured about their rights when in hospital so that they can confidently seek help. This Committee now has the chance to make a real difference to people’s lives by passing this Bill and pushing the Government to publish the full legislation to update the Act in line with the recommendations of the Expert Group.”