Ms Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister for Primary Care, Social Care (Disabilities and Older People) and Mental Health, published the Expert Group Review of the Mental Health Act, 2001 on Thursday 5 March 2015.
The completion of this review is in line with a commitment in the Programme for Government which promised to have the review carried out in consultation with service users, carers and other stakeholders while being informed by human rights standards.
The Expert Group, which began its work in August 2012, took as its starting point an initial report undertaken by a Steering Group which scoped out the main issues for further review.
The Group has made 165 recommendations, the bulk of which relate to changes to our mental health legislation. In particular, the changes seek to move away from the often paternalistic interpretation of the existing legislation, to one where insofar as is possible, the individual has the final say in what he or she deems to be in his or her best interests and receives the best possible quality of service required to attain the highest standard of mental health.
In addition, the recommendations provide a practical and realistic way forward, which can ensure that the safeguards necessary for mental health legislation are robust and fully compliant with international best practice, as well as ensuring that those vulnerable people who need care and treatment can avail of it in the most appropriate environment.