MENTAL health patients can no longer be seen as ‘objects’ but must be involved in a meaningful way in making decisions about their treatment and care.
That’s according to Deputy Michael Collins (Ind) who has called on his fellow TDs to vote in favour of the Mental Health Amendment Bill 2017 which sets out to improve the provision of mental health services.
It also seeks to strengthen the rights of people when they are in hospital for mental health care and support the right of patients to make decisions about their own treatment.
Deputy Collins said: ‘The government need to fully realise its commitments to mental health, and adequately invest in mental health and update current legislation in order to improve the mental health outcomes for adults and children living in Ireland.
‘It is shameful that only one out of the 165 recommendations contained in the 2015 report of the Expert Group on the Review of the Mental Health Act 2001 has been implemented thus far.’
Government policy on mental health is set-out in a Vision for Change which was published in 2006 and provides a 10-year framework for building positive mental health and providing accessible, community-based, specialist services for people with mental health issues. However, Deputy Collins feels more needs to be done to ensure that people suffering with mental health issues are allowed to make decision about their treatment in a more meaningful way.
‘The Bill also gives children a voice in relation to their care when in the mental health service, it recognises Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
‘Following on from this I am urging the Government to take action immediately to stop such children from being admitted to adults-only institutions.‘Any legislation which seeks to increase the standards of mental health care in Ireland must be welcomed and I urge my fellow TDs to vote in favour of this Bill,’ he concluded.