Seanad Public Consultation Committee are seeking your views on children’s mental health services in Ireland

11 April 2017

The Seanad Public Consultation Committee is now inviting written submissions from interested groups or individuals in the area of children’s mental health in Ireland.

The Committee will consider written submissions and may decide to invite a number of contributors to public hearings, which will take place in the Seanad Chamber. When this public process is complete, the Committee intends to publish a report on the matter for the consideration of the Seanad and the Government.

Senator Joan Freeman has been appointed Rapporteur to lead in the compilation of the Report.

Senator Freeman said: "The primary focus of this Public Consultation process is to provide a forum where Child and Adolescent Mental Health service users (including children and their parents), key civil society activists, and service providers who have engaged, or are presently engaging, with mental health services in Ireland can bring their views to the Oireachtas. Specifically, we are seeking their experience of current practice and views on how we can highlight the mental health issues experienced by the most vulnerable people in this country – our Nation’s children.

“Our public consultation takes place as the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2016 moves through the legislative process, a piece of legislation designed to end the practice of admitting children to adult psychiatric units. In informing this debate, and in carrying out the functions of the Public Consultation Committee, we will robustly examine the reality of current practice, the effect that it is having on primary and secondary care providers, the extent of waiting lists for Child and Adolescent Mental Health service and benchmark ourselves against best practice.”

“Evidence, including that of the Mental Health Commission, indicates that there is much room for improvement in how we look after those that need it the most, and so we are calling on frontline workers and service users to assist us in putting forward recommendations for change and be actively involved in informing public policy.”

Seanad Leas-Chathaoirleach and Committee Chairman Senator Paul Coghlan said: “Today we have launched a call for public submissions in the area of children’s mental health in Ireland. This process facilitates direct engagement and consultation between members of the public and Seanad Éireann and allows citizens and interest groups to interact directly with Parliament and become active participants in the democratic process. The Committee will consider all submissions in detail and may invite a number of contributors to attend public hearings in the Seanad Chamber.”

“The preceding Committee, the Seanad Public Consultation Committee of the 24th Seanad, produced substantive reports on a variety of areas of public importance such as the rights of older people, cancer prevention through lifestyle changes, Ireland’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and farm safety and we welcome the opportunity to again strengthen dialogue between Seanad Éireann and the public on a wide range of subjects.”

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 4 pm on Friday, 5th May, 2017.

You can read more about how to make a submission to the Seanad Public Consultation Committee here.

You can follow the process of the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2016 [Seanad] [PMB] here.

Have your say and make a submission.

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Members of the Committee:

Chairman: Paul Coghlan (Fine Gael)

Catherine Ardagh (Fianna Fáil)
Jerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)
Maria Byrne (Fine Gael)
Martin Conway (Fine Gael)
Mark Daly (Fianna Fáil)
Máire Devine (Sinn Féin)
Joan Freeman (Independent / Taoiseach's Nominee)
Colette Kelleher (Independent / Taoiseach's Nominee)
Denis Landy (Labour)
Pádraig Ó Céidigh (Independent / Taoiseach's Nominee)