Minister McEntee convenes first meeting of National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health

6th September 2016 

Helen McEntee TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, today chaired the first meeting of the National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health. After attending the meeting, the Minister confirmed, “I am hugely excited to have begun the work of the Taskforce in improving the mental health and wellbeing of our young people. This is an area which I am extremely passionate about, and I am delighted to say on behalf of the whole Taskforce group that we are determined to progress the youth mental health and wellbeing agenda to make real and lasting change.”

The Taskforce is a small, community-led group with representatives of the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. It is mandated to act as a galvanising force to improve:

  • Social mores for talking about mental health as openly as physical or dental health 
  • Awareness of services and supports 
  • Accessibility to services and supports at different times and in different areas 
  • Alignment of services and supports across different providers (public organisations, private organisations, community organisations, voluntary organisations etc.)

The Taskforce will be supported in its work by a youth representative panel, which will be co-chaired by Niall Breslin of Lust for Life, and Emma Farrell, formerly of Jigsaw’s youth advisory panel.  To ensure a wide spectrum of views, a national consultative forum will also be convened later in the year.  

The work of the Taskforce will be documented on


Notes to Editors

Membership of National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health:

Helen McEntee TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People (Chair)
Paul Reid, Fingal County Manager (Chair alternate)
Dr Tony Bates, CEO Jigsaw
Prof Mary Cannon, RCSI
Rob Hennelly, GAA
Dr Shari McDaid, Mental Health Reform
Moninne Griffith, BeLonG To
Mary Cunningham, National Youth Council of Ireland
Grainia Long, ISPCC
Cian Power, VP for Welfare, Union of Students of Ireland
Ian Power,
Jim Breen, Cycle Against Suicide
Anne O’Connor, HSE Mental Health Services
Kate O’Flaherty, Healthy Ireland
Colm Desmond, Department of Health
Margaret Grogan, Department of Education
Patricia Hayden, Department of Education
Julie de Bailliencourt, Facebook
Representative of the Department of Children & Youth Affairs


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