Minister Lynch welcomes the Sixth Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Group on A Vision for Change

17 July 2012

Ms Kathleen Lynch, T.D., Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, today, 17th July 2012, published the Sixth Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Group on A Vision for Change – the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy.

The Report welcomes the development of the National Mental Health Programme Plan (Clinical Programmes), the continued closure of unfit for purpose facilities in favour of modern community based approaches, the decision to develop a new Forensic Mental Health Service and the many local and regional initiatives being developed in line with A Vision for Change.

However, the Monitoring Group also reported that the implementation of A Vision for Change to date including 2011 has been slow and inconsistent and recommends the establishment of National Mental Health Service Directorate and the development of a comprehensive, time-lined and costed Implementation Plan. In addition, the Report pays particular attention to the issue of recovery and calls for the prioritisation of the development of recovery-orientated practice in our mental health services.

The Minister welcomed the findings and recommendations in the Monitoring Group Report and said A Vision for Change has been accepted by Government as the basis for the future development of our mental health services. The process of change is challenging and may not be happening as quickly as we would have intended, however, I am confident that the additional €35m provided this year for mental health will significantly improve our community mental health services in line with the recommendations of A Vision for Change and will result in significant benefits to service users, their families, carers and the community. I welcome this Report which, together with the Report earlier this year of the Inspector of Mental Health Services, will help to drive change in the mental health services.”

The Minister also acknowledged the important work and commitment of the Independent Monitoring Group in monitoring developments and producing its Reports over the past three years.

Read the Report