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The Mental Health Commission has published its Annual Report for 2010. The functions of the Committee are to promote, encourage and foster the establishment and maintenance of high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services.

Some of the strategic priority strategy areas focused on in 2010 report by the Commission include service users, families and carers; human rights and best Interests; quality mental health services; the wider mental health domain; social inclusion and active citizenship; and enhancing the organisational efficiency of the Commission.

While the report was welcomed by Minister of State with responsibility for mental health, Kathleen Lynch TD, she expressed some concern relating to the slow rate of progress.

She appreciated the improvements in some areas including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services yet expressed some worry over the practice of using mental health service beds for those who are not mentally ill along with the number of children, aged 16 and 17, who attend adult emergency departments and who are admitted on an acute basis to adult approved centres.

In an upcoming article in the June issue of the PAI Journal, Colm O’Gorman, Director of Amnesty International Ireland,  discusses the pledges contained in the Programme for Government in relation to mental health reform and outlines some steps that need to be taken if Ireland is truly to deliver a modern mental health service and honour its commitments.