The Mental Health Commission was established in April 2002 under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2001. The commission's primary function is to promote and foster high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services and to ensure that the interests of detained patients are protected.
The detailed work programme of the commission is a matter for itself to determine, in accordance with its statutory functions under the Mental Health Act 2001. However, I understand that one of the priorities for the commission is to put in place the structures required for the operation of mental health tribunals, as provided for in Part 2 of the Act. This year, additional funding of €3 million is available to the commission for this purpose.
The commission is involved in discussions with my Department, the health boards and other organisations to ensure that all elements of the organisational and support systems required are in place prior to the commencement of Part 2 of the Mental Health Act 2001.