Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne says mental health services have been put to the top of the Government agenda after proposals put forward by him secured the support of the Dáil.

Deputy Browne made the comments after the ‘Mental Health (Amendment) (No.2 ) Bill 2017’ was unanimously accepted by the Dáil. The Bill aims to reform Ireland’s mental health services by insisting on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the 2015 report on the Expert Group on the Review of the Mental Health Act.

Deputy Browne said, “It’s positive to see all parties coming together in the Dáil to put mental health reform at the top of the Government agenda. Irish society has become more open in recent years when it comes to discussing mental health issues but our mental health services have remained largely unreformed. The Bill I brought forward aims to address this problem by implementing many of the recommendations that are already out there regarding the future direction that our mental health services should take.

“The focus must now shift to ensuring that the Bill is not unduly delayed in the Oireachtas. The Bill is scheduled to go before committee for further discussion and I will be working to ensure that this takes place as soon as possible. We can’t allow this Bill to simply fall by the wayside as it’s been clear for some time now that urgent reform is needed in our mental health services.

“I’m calling on the Government to provide a definitive time lime for the full reform of the Mental Health Act as envisaged in the Bill that I have put forward. The Expert Group’s recommendations need to be put in place without delay to help protect the well-being of patients and ensure that the State meets its obligations under International Human Rights Law,” concluded Deputy Browne.