Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne TD has written to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to request the establishment of a new joint Oireachtas committee to specifically facilitate discussions and debate relating to Ireland’s mental health services.

Deputy Browne said, “Ireland continues to face significant challenges when it comes to the provision of mental health services. It’s been widely acknowledged for many years that overarching reform of our mental health services is necessary, as was outlined in the ‘A Vision for Change’ policy framework document. However many of the recommendations contained in this document remain to be implemented over a decade after its publication.

“It’s clear that a new forum is needed to drive forward the reform plan for our mental health services. Accordingly I have written to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to request a new joint Oireachtas Committee to be established specifically for mental health to discuss and debate issues of policy and services. This committee would also play a key role in monitoring the ultimate implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’ and will address any obstacles or impediments to the implementation of this much needed policy.

“There needs to be parity of esteem between mental and physical health. The services available in our health system have expanded significantly over the last decade, but our mental health services haven’t experienced the same level of investment and reform. The Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare recently concluded its work and I believe now is the right time to establish a committee to provoke a similar conversation regarding our mental health services.”