QUESTION NO: 200 for WRITTEN ANSWER on 10/07/2008

* To ask the Minister for Health and Children if the mental health expert group has been established as outlined in a Vision for Change; the membership of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. David Stanton T.D.


I presume the question refers to the Independent Monitoring Group on ‘A Vision for Change’, the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy, which was established in March 2006. The members of the Group are:

Dr. Ruth Barrington, Chief Executive Officer, Molecular Medicine Ireland (Chair)

Dr. Tony Bates, Founder Director, Headstrong

Mr. Pat Brosnan, Specialist National Planning Mental Health, HSE

Dr. Susan Finnerty, Acting Inspector of Mental Health Services

Mr. Paul Flynn, Service User

Ms. Dora Hennessy, Principal, Mental Health Division, Department of Health & Children

Dr. Terry Lynch, General Practitioner and Psychotherapist

Mr Tim O’Malley, Pharmacist

Ms Máire Redmond, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland

The Group’s Terms of Reference are: –

§ To monitor and assess progress on the implementation of all the recommendations in a ‘A Vision for Change’;

§ To make recommendations in relation to the manner in which the recommendations are implemented;

§ To report to the Minister annually on progress made towards implementing the recommendations of the Report and to publish the report.

The Group’s second annual report was published on the 27th June 2008.

QUESTION NO: 122  Minister for Health and Children (Ms. Harney (Dublin Mid-West)) for WRITTEN ANSWER on 08/05/2008 * To ask the Minister for Health and Children if, with reference to the National Economic and Social Forum Report 36, the Senior Officials Group under the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion are responsible for the implementation of the recommendations of the report; the action which has been taken in doing same across the six strategic areas since the report’s publication; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  – David Stanton T.D.


The National Economic and Social Forum’s report on Mental Health and Social Inclusion is consistent with ‘A Vision for Change‘ which was launched in January 2006.

A key recommendation of the NESF report is the establishment of cross-departmental structures to address mental health and social inclusion. In January 2008, the Government announced the establishment of the Office for Disability and Mental Health. The Office is a cross-departmental Government office with functions in four Departments: Health and Children, Education and Science, Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The Director of the Office is a member of the Senior Officials Group on Social Inclusion.

The Office’s functions include driving the recommendations of ‘A Vision for Change’, bringing a new impetus to the implementation of the Report through working in partnership with the HSE and other stakeholders to achieve implementation of agreed targets. The recommendations of the NESF report will inform the work of the Office in this regard.