The coalition group Mental Health Reform has today (29/07/2013) given a broad welcome to the publication of the National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan.
The National Disability Strategy is a ten-year plan (2006-2015) aimed at achieving social inclusion of people with disabilities, including people with a mental health disability. The Government’s commitment to making significant progress over the next three years towards improving the lives of people with disabilities as full members of Irish society represents an important statement.
Dr. Shari McDaid, Spokesperson for Mental Health Reform commented: “We are pleased that representatives from the mental health sector were included in the process of developing this Implementation Plan. It is now crucial that each Government Department takes specific action to support the social inclusion of people with a mental health condition. In particular, people with a mental health disability are 9 times more likely to be outside the labour force than those without a disability. Employment is a key part of being involved in community life and it is important that Government Departments understand that people with disabilities want to work and to be economically independent.”
“We welcome the commitment by Minister Kathleen Lynch to develop a comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities; however, in the absence of a lead Department, it is difficult to see how much progress can be made. We urge Government to support people with a mental health disability into work by implementing recommended measures that are well-evidenced and cost-effective“, Dr. McDaid added.