Establishment of the Joint Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care: Motion

I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders—

(a) Dáil Éireann noting—

(i) the pressures on mental health services, the waiting times for services, and the need to improve services in certain parts of the country,

(ii) the consensus that the 2006 policy ‘A Vision for Change’ charts the best way forward for mental health services, and

(iii) the fact that, eleven years after its publication, ‘A Vision for Change’ is not yet fully implemented,

hereby appoints a Special Committee (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Committee’), to be joined with a Special Committee to be appointed by Seanad Éireann, to form the Joint Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care;

(b) the Joint Committee shall aim to achieve cross-party agreement on the implementation of a single, long-term vision for mental health care and the direction of mental health policy in Ireland, while recognising that the Department of Health is simultaneously conducting a review of ‘A Vision for Change’;

(c) in the context of the implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’, the Committee shall examine—

(i) the current integration of delivery of mental health services in Ireland;

ii) the availability, accessibility and alignment of services and supports (including the work of the National Task Force on Youth Mental Health and the Youth Mental Health Pathfinder Project);

(iii) the need to further develop prevention and early intervention services;

(iv) the significant challenges in the recruitment and retention of skilled personnel; and

(v) the efficacy of establishing a permanent Mental Health Oireachtas Committee;

(d) the Joint Committee shall, having carried out the examination at paragraph (c), and taking account of the Department of Health review of ‘A Vision for Change’, make recommendations on how best to align Ireland’s mental health services and supports to increase availability and accessibility, recruit and retain personnel and complete the implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’ in order to provide a more integrated mental health service of the highest quality;

e) the number of members of the Committee shall not exceed 15, and the members shall be appointed as follows:

i) four members appointed by the Government,

ii) four members appointed by Fianna Fáil,

(iii) two members appointed by Sinn Féin, and

(iv) one member each appointed by the Labour Party, Solidarity-People Before Profit (Sol-PBP), Independents 4 Change, the Rural Independent Group and the Social Democrats-Green Party Group;

(f) the Ceann Comhairle shall announce the names of the members appointed under paragraph (e) for the information of the Dáil on the first sitting day following their appointment;

(g) the quorum of the Joint Committee shall be eight, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Dáil, and one a member of the Seanad;

(h) the Joint Committee shall elect one of its members to be Chairman;

(i) the Joint Committee shall have the powers defined in Standing Order 85(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (7), (8) and (9);

(j) the Joint Committee shall produce an interim report, which shall contain its proposed work schedule, within two months of its first meeting in public; and

(k) the Joint Committee shall make its final report to both Houses of the Oireachtas by 31st October, 2018, and shall thereupon stand dissolved.

Question put and agreed to.