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Catherine Connolly challenges government on mental health review

Galway West TD Catherine Connolly yesterday asked the government for a time-frame for the review which is ongoing in relation to A Vision for Change.

The government response was that the review will ‘certainly’ be completed by the end of the year.

Deputy Connolly said: “We have been through this conversation. We had A Vision for Change. It was to be reviewed.

“The Government set up an international review of literature. That took some time and it is over, and now a review is ongoing. When will it be completed?

“A Vision for Change was an excellent document. The difficulty was in its implementation, in addition to the abolition of the independent monitoring group that monitored its implementation and which sat for two three-year sessions.”

Deputy Connolly asked again when the review is to be completed, adding: “If the Government is seriously interested in providing proper services for people suffering from mental health difficulties, why would it not reinstate the independent implementation body?”

Published in 2006, A Vision for Change details a comprehensive model of mental health service provision for Ireland.

It describes a framework for building positive mental health across the community and for providing accessible, community-based, specialist services for people with mental illness.’

Fine Gael TD Jim Daly thanked Deputy Connolly for the question.

“Gabhaim buíochas leis an Teachta Connolly as an gceist sin,” he said. “As she will be aware, that is one of the more important reviews that is ongoing at the moment. A Vision for Change was one of the most visionary and revolutionary changes in the delivery of mental health services the country has ever seen.”

He added: “We take the review of that policy very seriously and I do not want to rush it. It will be completed before the end of this year on time. I meet the people who review it on a regular basis to get an update on how that is going.

“I believe I have another meeting with them in the next week or ten days.

“It certainly will be concluded by the end of this year.”

Michael Malone
Email me at editor@galwaydaily.com

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