Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (248)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

248. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 757 of 21 July 2020, when a reply will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26141/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Opinions on the validity of parental alienation are divided in the international community. It is not recognised as a clinical entity by the American Psychiatric Association in its 2013 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders. Nor is it currently recognised by the WHO in its International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. The Department contacted the WHO in July 2020 to confirm whether or not parental alienation will be included in its updated classification, due in 2022. The Department is awaiting a response.

At present, the Department of Health has no specific health-based supports or services for parental alienation. Mental health services can be accessed by anyone in the State, who, following clinical assessment, will be treated on a needs-based basis. I have now also forwarded the Deputy’s questions to the HSE for their direct reply to provide information on any supports or services for parental alienation in the HSE.

The Department is led by international best practice in this area, and will continue to monitor any developments in this area.