A Fianna Fáil Bill to amend Irish equality legislation, including employment legislation, and ensure that persons can no longer be discriminated against on the basis of their mental health, will be debated in Dáil Éireann this week.
The Bill, brought forward by Fianna Fáil Mental Health Spokesperson James Browne TD, seeks to end discrimination against those who suffer with mental health issues.
Deputy Browne explained, “Currently, under equality and employment legislation it is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of disability, and this includes a mental illness. However, the disability ground restricts mental health to a narrow medical definition.
My Bill puts mental health discrimination front and centre within this legislation. It provides for mental health as a standalone ground and gives it a human rights-based definition. It contains a more broad definition of mental health status and includes a person’s emotional, psychological and social well-being.
“It is crucial that every person is treated with dignity, fairness and respect, regardless of their mental health status.
“This Bill will serve as a further step towards bringing Ireland in line with international standards on equality and understanding of mental health as a human rights issue and not just a medical illness issue. I hope all parties in the Dáil will support it”, concluded Deputy Browne.