Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne TD has called on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to commit to ensuring that Oireachtas Committee on Mental Health is established on a permanent basis.
The Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care was first established in July 2017 after Fianna Fáil wrote to former Taoiseach Enda Kenny requesting it’s establishment.
Under the current standing orders the committee will make its final report by 31st October 2018 and will subsequently be dissolved automatically.
Deputy Browne said, “The establishment of a Mental Health Committee was first proposed by Fianna Fáil to facilitate discussions and debate relating to Ireland’s mental health services. The committee has provided an important forum for mental health advocacy groups and has helped determine the steps that need to be taken to overhaul our mental health services.
“We have known for many years now that major reform is needed to make our mental health services fit for purpose. Ultimately this reform needs to be driven by the Government, but it is my view that we need a permanent Mental Health Committee to monitor the implementation of health policy and to hold the Department of Health and HSE to account.
“The Taoiseach must commit to establishing the Mental Health Committee on a permanent basis. As it stands, the committee will be abolished this November. I fear that this could result in mental health reform slipping down the Government agenda. This cannot be allowed to happen,” concluded Deputy Browne.