Wednesday, 31 July 2013

National Disability Strategry Implentation Plan 2013 - 2015

This new Plan for the National Disability Strategy was prepared and agreed by the National Disability Strategy Implementation Group and submitted to Government on 23 July 2013.

The plan is here.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) App

Ali one of our WRAP (R) Faciliators in Gateway has told us the good news that there is a new Wellness Recovery Action Plan App.

Click here for a link about the App.

You now can have Wellbeing on the go!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers

"I have depression but it doesn't have me. I don't think depression is something to hide or be ashamed of - do you?" Blog about Mental Health called Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

SOS - Eden Programme Information


Minister Lynch announces publication of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013

Statement by Kathleen Lynch TD

Minister of State, Department of Health and Department of Justice, Equality & Defence with responsibility for Disability,Older People, Equality & Mental Health

Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Older People, Equality & Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch TD, today announced the publication of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013. The Bill was approved by the Government at its meeting on 16th July 2013.
The legislation represents a comprehensive reform of the law on mental capacity, replacing the Wards of Court system with a new legal framework. For the first time, Irish law will provide for supported decision-making.

In welcoming the legislation, Minister Lynch said “This Bill will provide a continuum of supports to those who need assistance in making decisions that affect their lives. The Bill sets out a menu of options to respond to people's differing needs. Some people may need a small amount of help in obtaining information and in getting to grips with systems. The decision-making assistant option will suit them. The co-decision-making option may be most suitable for someone who needs somebody to make a decision jointly with them. That person will be able to enter voluntarily into a co-decision-making agreement with a trusted friend or relative.

“Many people will be able to use informal arrangements rather than formal agreements and the Bill will provide protection in such cases. In a minority of cases, there is provision for court-ordered decision-making representation. This will be an option of last resort but the reality is that our law must still provide for it. In such cases, the representative will be required to faithfully act as the individual's voice. In all cases, the person's will and preferences will have to be centre stage."

The Bill will:

- replace the Wards of Court system with a legal framework to support people in exercising their decision-making capacity so that they can better manage their personal welfare, property and financial affairs

- change the existing law on capacity from the current all or nothing status approach to a functional one, whereby decision-making capacity is assessed on an issue-and time-specific basis

- provide a range of supports, on a continuum of intervention levels (for instance, decision-making assistance, co-decision-making, decision-making representation, informal support), to support people in maximising their decision-making capability

- provide, in circumstances where it is not possible for a person to exercise their capacity even with support, that another person can be appointed by the Court to act as their representative with regard to specified matters

- provide that the Circuit Court will have jurisdiction on this area giving court-backed protection to the options chosen by people

- clarify the law for carers who take on responsibility for persons who need help in making decisions

- establish an Office of Public Guardian within the Courts Service, with supervisory powers to protect vulnerable persons

- subsume into the Bill the provisions in the Powers of Attorney Act 1996 on enduring powers in order to bring them into line with the general principles and safeguards in the Bill.

In addition, the Bill will, at Committee Stage, incorporate provisions relating to Advance Care Directives, which will be provided by the Department of Health. These were drafted on foot of a Government Decision on 12 March 2013 with the intention of including them in the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill at Committee Stage.

Underpinning these provisions, the Bill sets out the following guiding principles, which will apply to each and every intervention under the proposed legislation:
- there is a presumption of decision-making capacity.
- no intervention will take place unless it is necessary having regard to the needs and individual circumstances of the person.
- a person will be treated as unable to make a decision only where all practicable steps to help that person make a decision have been taken without success.
- any act done or decision made under the Bill must be done or made in a way which is the least restrictive of a person’s rights and freedoms.
- any act done or decision made under the Bill in support or on behalf of a person with impaired capacity must give effect to his or her will and preferences.

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 is here.

Some Gateway Members took part in a Citzens Jury and these are the findings

Eden Programme


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

July Speaker - Jennifer Kelly about Mindfulness.

Many thanks to Jennifer who came in to speak to us about Mindfulness yesterday and here is the poem she read out. We really enjoyed having Jennifer in.

Autobiography In Five Chapters

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in... it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

Portia Nelson
From: Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

The Irish Times - After the Asylum

Three people, three lives, three stories.

For more information click here.

The Mary Raftery Journalism Fund

Friday, 12 July 2013

Press Release - Immediate Release 11/07/2013 Mental Health Reform

Mental Health Reform welcomes new counselling service in primary care

Mental Health Reform welcomes today’s (11/07/13) launch of the Counselling in Primary Care service that will enable adult medical card holders throughout the country to access time-limited counselling through their GP.

In response to the launch, Dr. Shari McDaid, Mental Health Reform's spokesperson, commented: “One of the strongest messages to come out of the consultation that fed into the Government’s mental health policy A Vision for Change was that people in mental or emotional distress want alternatives to medication, including access to counselling and psychotherapy.  The consensus at that time was that psychological therapies should be considered a fundamental component of basic mental health services. People who use mental health services and their family members have consistently told us that they want access to psychological therapies.”

Dr. Shari McDaid continued, “The roll-out of a national, free counselling service accessible through primary care is a welcome step towards meeting the need for alternatives to medication for mental and emotional distress. We view this as a positive measure to improve mental health in Ireland.”

“It will be important to monitor the impact of the service closely to see how far it goes to meeting the need for counselling services in primary care. Evidence shows that a majority of clients who seek psychotherapy would require 20-45 sessions in order to recover. The Counselling in Primary Care service provides short-term counselling with a maximum of eight sessions and there will still be a need for longer-term therapy for some clients.”

“The Counselling in Primary Care service also will not cater for individuals with moderate to severe mental health difficulties who will be required to seek access to psychological therapy through the mental health services. The Inspector of Mental Health Services reported in his review of services for 2012 that most people receiving mental health treatment are being offered a more traditional, medicalised version rather than that propounded in A Vision for Change. It is important that all the community mental health team staffing due in 2013 comes on stream this year to enable greater access to psychological therapies for people using mental health services as well”, Dr. McDaid concluded.

For more Information please contact:

087 6189715

Monday, 8 July 2013

24 Hour Emergency Services for Mental Health & Suicide

 24 hour emergency numbers for mental health and suicide.

1 Life 1800247100 or text HELP to 51444

24 hour suicide prevention helpline & text message service for anyone in suicidal distress.

Samaritians   1850 60 90 90

24 hour, 7 day, confidental helpline for people in distress/despair.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Conference on preparing for Ireland’s forthcoming ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

On the 17th May 2013 Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) and the Centre for Disability Law & Policy, at the National University of Ireland Galway jointly hosted a conference on preparing for Ireland’s forthcoming ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

A video of the conference has now been uploaded to the DFI website – Click here to view full conference!

The conference included presentation from Prof. Theresia Degener (Professor of law and disability studies at Evangelische Fachhochschule RWL - University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany) who spoke on her experiences as a Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and what is involved in the ratification process. See presentation by Prof. Theresia Degener here.

Also presenting were Agnes Van Wijnen (Independent Developer and Adviser on Disability Policy & Strategy, and Researcher in Disability Studies) who spoke on her experience being involved in grassroots initiatives involving organisations representing people with disabilities, campaigning for ratification. See presentation by Agnes Van Wijnen here.

The final speaker on the day, Prof. Gerard Quinn (Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway School of Law.) focused on the area of legal capacity reform.  See presentation by Prof. Gerard Quinn here.

For more information on the UNCRPD or for general enquires, log onto our website or your welcome to contact your DFI Support Officer.

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