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Róisín Shortall, TD and co-leader of the Social Democrats, has welcomed the Minister for Health’s commitment at her request in the Dáil today to look into immediate publication of the refreshed version of A Vision for Change.

She said, “Given the urgent situation facing mental health providers in the context of Covid-19, the refreshed policy for A Vision for Change is now more important than ever and needs to be immediately published.

“The level of mental health problems has risen dramatically over the past three months. Not only for existing issues that are exacerbated by Covid-19, but also for emerging problems which are a direct result of the virus.

“Every age group in this country is experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, whether that is older people cocooning or in nursing homes, frontline workers and their families under duress, or students with question marks over their education and future.

“In addition to immediate publication, the implementation group for A Vision for Change needs to be established as a matter of urgency so that it can drive the response to Covid-19. There is no point in setting up different task forces when one group could handle a cohesive, evidence-based short-term action plan as well as implement longer-term policy changes.

“Mental Health Reform pulled together cross-party support for the publication of the refreshed policy, which was sent to the Minister in a letter this morning. I welcome his commitment to bringing the document to Government as a matter of urgency, and I look forward to his reply by the end of this week.”


27 May 2020

Notes to editor:
Mental Health Reform sent a letter with cross-party support to Minister Harris and Minister Daly on 27 May 2020 requesting publication. The letter was signed by Róisín Shortall TD, James Browne TD, Ossian Smyth TD, and Pat Buckley TD.

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