Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEntee TD today marked World Mental Health day with a series of events.
Speaking in the morning, Minister McEntee said “I am honoured today to mark World Mental Health Day, and in particular the focus this year on psychological first aid. It’s easy to forget the importance of taking care of your own mental health when there are so many things going on around you, when you’re busy and tired and maybe focussing on other people. If you’re always helping others, try to make sure you take some time for yourself.”
She continued: “In Ireland we have very much been on a journey in reducing stigma around mental illness, creating more openness and empathy in discussing our mental health and building personal and community resilience. There is still work to be done, but it is important to look back on what we’ve achieved.”
The Minister highlighted the progress she has made since becoming Minister in late May 2016, and her plans for the future including:
- The work of the National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health, with a focus on resilience and prevention. The Taskforce is a small, community-led group, which has already met twice, with representatives of the public, private, community and voluntary sectors, and it will be supported in its work by a youth representative panel.
- An external review of evidence and international best practice on mental health and on how a Vision for Change has been implemented, to inform detailed, comprehensive planning on a successor policy.
- Ongoing work on preparation of the General Scheme of a Bill to reflect the recommendations of the Expert Review Group of the Mental Health Act 2001.
- Ensuring continued priority for the funding of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
- Commencement of construction in the near future on the new forensic mental health hospital at Portrane to replace the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum.
“When we work so hard to increase awareness and reduce stigma it is important that services are there when people seek them. When we encourage people to talk about it, there must be someone to talk to. Despite public perception, even in the tough economic times of recent years, funding for mental health has increased. Additional investment in the future will help us further develop our community mental health services and this will be amongst my priorities for the months and years ahead” concluded Minister McEntee.