Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Mental Health (Amendment) Bill

The Mental Health (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill is moving quickly and will go to report and final stage in the Dáil this Friday at 10.00am.

This is a key moment where the Mental Health Reform coalition can highlight that the Mental Health Act, 2001 needs to be updated.

Passage of the Bill would also make some significant changes that will strengthen the rights of mental health service users when in hospital.

Please support the Bill as part of the campaign to get fully updated mental health law: 
  1. Circulate this email with the attached briefing note to your clients and contacts 
  2. Contact your local TDs and ask them to support the Bill. Tell your TD why you think updated mental health law is urgently needed 
  3. Re-post on Facebook and re-tweet on Twitter MHR communications about the Bill 
  4. Attend report (final) stage of the Bill in Leinster House this coming Friday 14th July. Anyone interested in the debate is invited to attend.
If you would like to attend the proceedings in Leinster House this coming Friday 14th July, please contact Indre at by 1pm, this coming Wednesday 12th July. We will organise for your name to be put on the list for entrance at the Kildare Street gates of Leinster House. Please note that your name must be at the gate in order to gain entry. 

The changes proposed in the Mental Health (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2017 are explained in detail in the briefing note below.  

As previously highlighted the Bill was introduced by Fianna Fáil earlier this year and seeks to amend key sections of the Mental Health Act, 2001. Mental Health Reform is in full support of the Bill for the following reasons: 

1. It contains certain significant changes that will strengthen the rights of people when they are in hospital for mental health care. While the Bill does not address all of the existing gaps in the Mental Health Act, 2001, it is an encouraging step towards full revision of the 2001 Act and 

2. It provides an opportunity to advocate for the amendment of the Mental Health Act, 2001 in full, in line with the recommendations of the Expert Group report on review of the Act and MHR's own recommendations. To date, the Government has repeatedly failed to meet its own timetable for updating the Act and at the moment there is not even a mention of revisions to the Act in the Government's current legislative programme. The publication of the Bill by the largest opposition party puts pressure on the Government to publish the full revising legislation as promised. 

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