Thursday, 8 December 2011

Good News from Mental Health Reform

Please see below a round-up of recent Mental Health Reform news.

Budget 2012

The Campaign

We started our budget campaign very early: Mental Health Reform's Pre Budget Submission went out to all TDs and Senators in July and our budget campaign "Fight for Mental Health" was officially launched by Michael Carruth and Eric Donovan in October. Over 6,000 of you signed our petition to hold staffing levels at the levels in place at the start of 2011 and we sent 1,500 emails to TDs asking them not to cut mental health services. Minister for Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch accepted our petition on November 30th and thanked us for our contribution.

We met with a lot of TDs and Senators in the last few weeks and a debate on mental health was held in the Dáil and over 30 parliamentary questions were asked about our budget recommendations. We also held a briefing for TDs and Senators on November 30th and over 30 of them attended putting mental health firmly on the budgetary agenda.

You can read our whole budget submission here.

The Result

In the capital expenditure announcement, a new central mental hospital was one of four major capital investments for next year.

On Monday, Minister Brendan Howlin announced a €35 million investment into the development of community mental health services. We would not have achieved this without your support.Thank you!

He also announced a 2% efficiency savings and with your help we will continue to seek protection of mental health services.

Where to now?

In our budget reaction, Mental Health Reform welcomed the investment of €35m for community mental health services but have warned that this money will get lost within the HSE without the appointment of a Director for Mental Health Services with full accountability and budgetary authority. The Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Medical Times and Morning Ireland all featured our comments.

We have set up a facility on our website where you can thank your TDs for all they have done for mental health and ask them to put in place a Director to ensure the €35m will be used for its intended purpose.

Mental Health Act

A Mental Health Reform delegation including legal advisor to our board, Mary Donnelly and former director Caroline McGrath, met with the Department of Health Steering Group for the Review of the Mental Health Act. Minister Lynch has previously stated that she expects the consultation process to be complete by June 2012. You can ready our submission here.

Mental Health Reform is the national umbrella organisation for mental health. We have been open for new members for 3 months now and have grown by 12 members in that time. We now have 17 member organisations and continue to grow. If your organisation is interested in joining Mental Health Reform, please email

A full list of our member organisations can be found by clicking here.
National Consultations

As per our last e-zine, we have been holding a series of consultative meetings all over the country which has now come to an end. We would like to thank everybody who has shared his/her views with Mental Health Reform. We also want to take this opportunity to thank People with Disabilities Ireland for their part in the consultation meetings.

We are now in the process of writing up the results from these consultations which inform Mental Health Reform's Manifesto called "Guiding a Vision for Change" which we hope to launch early next year.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Act the Maggot! A beginners' acting course starting at the end of January 2012

A beginners' acting course starting at the end of January 2012. The course is open to people with self experience of psychological distress and facilitates confidence building, creativity and self expression in a playful and empowering way.

Amy Redmond is a trained and experienced drama facilitator currently working in mental health. She has developed Act The Maggot - Chrysalis following her experience and positive feedback while working with groups on an in-patient basis and students in the community. The beginners' programme also introduces some techniques developed by Augusto Boal in his Theatre of The Oppressed as a way of empowering communities and raising awareness of the issues affecting them.

Dept of Social Protection Budget 2012 Factsheet

Dept of Social Protection Budget 2012 Factsheet

Friday, 2 December 2011

Having your voice heard, and your issue represented, on decision making structures.


Having your voice heard, and your issue represented, on decision making structures.

What is it?

Take part in a three day course using discussion and reflection to help you to identify the key social, cultural, economic and political issues and structures that shape people’s experiences.

Learn to analyse social inequality affecting such issues as poverty, disability, gender, age, ethnicity and family status and apply them in a local context.

Examine existing structures in the local area and how community participation and representation influences them.

A diverse group of people on this course will ensure a rich and varied learning experience with practical and local applications.

When is it?

Taking place from 10am to 4pm for three Thursdays, starting Thursday 19th January 2012.

If you are interested please contact Martha on 4965558.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Some Pre -Christmas Enjoyment………

We would like to invite you to an end of term Christmas gathering on Wednesday the 14th of December 2011 from 2.00pm to 4.00pm in The Community Room, Mount Drummond Court, Mount Drummond Avenue, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6W for

Recitations, some good fun and mince pies!

Rathmines Pembroke Creative Writing Group.

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