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Mental Health Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 15 July 2020

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Ceisteanna (140)

Mark Ward

Ceist:

140. Deputy Mark Ward asked the Minister for Health if priority will be given to recommendations on access to counselling services in the community (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16184/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The national mental health policy, Sharing the Vision – A National Mental Health Policy for Everyone proposes that a National Implementation and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) be established to oversee implementation of the policy. The Committee will be mandated to drive reconfiguration, monitor progress against outcomes and deliver on the commitments made in this policy. It is expected that the Committee will work with partners to evaluate performance against the key performance indicators, check overall progress guided by research and learning from best practice, and gather information on examples of both good and bad practice. It is only when these mechanisms are in place that the system will be in a position to respond effectively to support the mental health needs of the whole population.

The revised policy contains an implementation roadmap that organises recommendations into short (0-6 months); medium (6-18 months) and long term (beyond 18 months), which will serve as a directional guide to the work of the NIMC in implementing the recommendations of the policy.

The HSE will assist the Department in drafting appropriate support structures for the NIMC, to operate within the overall implementation structure outlined in the policy. Work on this is already underway. Recommendations for the establishment of this will be submitted to Government for approval in due course.

In order to work as an accredited counsellor/psychotherapist in Ireland a counsellor must have completed an accredited training course in counselling/psychotherapy and complete the accreditation process with one of the main accreditation bodies.

Accreditation criteria differ between the various accrediting bodies but in general for a counselling/psychotherapy course to be accredited it must:

- be of a specified number of course contact hours which cover counselling/psychotherapy skills, theory and self development [typically 450 hours]

- detailed study of one core theoretical model of Counselling/Psychotherapy with an introduction to other theoretical models

- involve the applicant completing a specified number of counselling hours with individuals whilst working under supervision [typically 100 hours]

- include the applicant attending group and individual supervision

- the applicant is generally required to attend personal therapy for the duration of the course

Completion of training does not automatically entitle a person to be accredited. Most counsellors/psychotherapists can join their relevant professional body as a pre-accredited member. They then work towards full accreditation gaining clinical experience whilst working under supervision.

The HSE National Counselling Service only employs accredited counsellors and psychotherapists (I.e. they must have completed an accredited training, met the criteria for full accreditation and be a member of the relevant professional body). It recognises the following accreditation bodies for counsellor/therapists, the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the Irish Council for Psychotherapy and the Psychological Society of Ireland.

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