Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (234)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

237 Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on progress being made on the review of the Mental Health Act 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32546/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

The Interim Report of the Steering Group on the Review of the Mental Health Act 2001 was published on 21 June and is available on the Department's website. The commitment to undertake this review was included in the Programme for Government and is one to which the Government and I attach great importance.

I fully endorse the recommendation of the Steering Group that a rights based approach to mental health law should be adopted. A move away from the paternalistic approach of the 2001 Act was a strong feature of the views expressed in the consultation process. It is important that each person should have a right to determine and participate as much as they possibly can in their own care and treatment.

The Interim Report also emphasises the need for revised mental health legislation to support the objectives of A Vision for Change especially in relation to the promotion of community based mental health services. I also welcome the various changes recommended which aim to improve procedures regarding the detention of individuals and the necessary safeguards proposed to ensure that they receive the maximum appropriate protection.

Having now received the Interim Report, it is my intention to put in place an Expert Group to carry out the second and substantive phase of the review. I would expect that this group can begin its work in the coming weeks and that it would conclude its deliberations in early 2013.