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Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch TD has announced the newly appointed members of the Mental Health Commission.

Those appointed will serve on the Commission for a five year period from 2012 to 2017. The members hail from various backgrounds including the medical, nursing and legal profession. Mental health service users and the general public are also represented on the Commission.

Mr John Saunders has been appointed as Chair of the new Commission. He is the Director of Shine, the national organisation which supports those affected by mental ill health. The newly appointed members are as follows:

Dr Michael Byrne, Principal Psychology Manager, HSE West;
Dr Maeve Doyle, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Monaghan;
Dr Francis Xavier Flanagan, General Practitioner, Kildare;
Ms Pauline Gill, Principal Social Worker, National Forensic Service, Dublin;
Dr Anne Jeffers, Consultant Psychiatrist, Galway;
Mr Ned Kelly, Director of Nursing, Cork;
Ms Colette Nolan, Irish Advocacy Network; and
Ms Catherine O’Rourke, Director of Nursing, Louth/Meath.

Members who have been reappointed include:
Dr Mary Keys, Lecturer, NUI Galway;
Ms Patricia O’Sullivan Lacy, Barrister-At-Law;
Mr John Redican, National Service Users Executive;
Mr Martin Rogan, HSE; and
Mr John Saunders, Shine.

Announcing the new appointments the Minister thanked the outgoing members of the Mental Health Commission and acknowledged their work in developing mental health services in line with A Vision for Change.

The Mental Health Commission is an independent statutory body established under the Mental Health Act, 2001. Its key function is to promote high standards in the delivery of mental health services and to ensure that the interests of those admitted to Approved Centres are protected.