Mental Health Reform welcomes the launch today (Tuesday 17th July) of the 6th Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Group (IMG) for A Vision for Change, which analyses progress towards the implementation of the Government’s mental health policy.
Commenting on the report, Orla Barry, Director of Mental Health Reform, said: “We are now into the sixth year of the lifetime of A Vision for Change, which was launched in 2006, and, while there has been progress in some parts of the country, we are disappointed that access to comprehensive community-based mental health services remains patchy.”
“We echo the Group’s call for a Directorate, with responsibility for drawing up a detailed implementation plan, containing timelines, costs, measurable targets and designated responsible persons. Robust and transparent reporting procedures must also be put in place, alongside the development of an effective information system for mental health.”
“We acknowledge the important role played by the Independent Monitoring Group, and we urge Minister Kathleen Lynch to ensure that this group is continued in the future.”
Ms. Barry continued: “We are heartened to see the Group recommend a cultural shift and a move towards recovery. This supports Mental Health Reform’s call for the HSE to roll out a national programme of cultural change. The ethos of recovery from mental health difficulties is at the heart of A Vision for Change.”
“We also welcome the recommendation that, where appropriate, family members should be a part of team working. We have called for a national framework for the involvement of family members in care planning.”
Ms Barry concluded: “We are concerned that some of the issues highlighted in the IMG’s very first Annual Report back in 2007 are still relevant today, specifically the delay in appointing the Director for Mental Health, the delay in recruiting staff and the need for a stronger emphasis on recovery. It is important that the Government reaffirms its commitment to the full implementation of A Vision for Change. There is no time to lose.”