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

I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders--

(a) Seanad 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 Dáil 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 of 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 6;

(f) the Cathaoirleach shall announce the names of the members appointed under paragraph (e) for the information of the Seanad 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 Dái, 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 71(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

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.