MHR welcomes passage of Mental Health Act (Amendment) (No.2) Bill to Committee Stage - Mental Health Reform

May 4th, 2017

Mental Health Reform welcomes passage of Mental Health Act (Amendment) (No.2) Bill to Committee Stage and calls for full Scheme to amend Mental Health Act, 2001

Mental Health Reform, the national coalition for mental health, has today welcomed the passage ofFiannaFáíl’s Mental Health Act (Amendment) (No.2) Bill to Committee Stage, following its debate in the Dáilon Tuesday evening. The Bill, which received cross party support, was broadly seen as being an important step towards strengthening the rights ofpeople when they are in hospital for mental health care, while also providing a launchpad for full reform of the Mental Health Act, 2001.

Speaking after the debate, Director of Mental Health Reform, Shari McDaid, said, “We are encouraged to see such strong,cross party support for this Bill and the wider reforms needed to the mental health civil law, however it is important now that the Bill be brought quickly before theOireachtas Committee on Health. While this Bill makes important changes, they cannot be given effect until wider reform legislation is enacted. Government must therefore publish the full Scheme of the Bill to reflect the Expert Group’s recommendations before the end of this year. Successive Governments have repeatedly failed to meet their obligations to reform the Mental Health Act, 2001, which predates both A Vision for Change and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability.It has been two years since the Expert Group recommendedthat 165 changes be made to the Act, and since thenonly one change has been made.“

Dr.McDaid continued “We now need a definitive timeframe from this government for full reform of the Mental Health Act, 2001, in line with the Expert Group’s recommendations and in line with the State’s obligations under International Human Rights law. People who need inpatient treatment for acute mental distress can no longer wait for their rights to be fully protected.”

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About Mental Health Reform

Mental Health Reform is the national coalition promoting improved mental health services and the social inclusion of people with mental health difficulties. The coalition currently has 57 member organisations. See www.mentalhealthreform.ie for more details. Mental Health Reform acknowledges the support of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019.

For further information:

Mental Health Reform’s briefing note on the Mental Health (Amendment) (No.2) Bill is available here.


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