Deputy Mark Ward has praised the work of his mental health committee colleagues on the work on recommendations to reform the Mental Health Act 2001. Deputy Ward was speaking at the launch of the report document in Leinster House recently. Teachta Ward said “In recent weeks we launched the pre-legislative scrutiny report of the Draft Heads of Bill to Amend the Mental Health Act 2001.
“This is a huge piece of work that sees us moving on from 2001 Mental Health Act and bringing a more human rights approach to mental health care in Ireland. “We have seen the stigma surrounding mental health fade somewhat in recent years and we now can have open conversations in how to best approach the subject with the compassion it deserves. “This report takes a human rights-based approach and aims to adhere to the spirit and rationale of the UN Convention for Human Rights.
“A lot of work has been put into this report by myself and my committee colleagues and it goes a long way to addressing longstanding outdated issues in our legislation. “I want to pay particular tribute the Chair of the Committee, Senator Frances Black for her passion in getting this report finished. “There is no decision that is made at the cabinet level that does not have an impact on people’s mental health, be that a positive or negative impact. “I believe that if the recommendations in the report are accepted by government then Ireland could become a world leader in mental health care.
“The Minister for Health must ensure that the recommendations are considered, resourced and implemented. “This is a very positive step forwards for mental health in Ireland.”