Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, has launched the government’s Sharing the Vision – Implementation Plan 2022 – 2024 in conjunction with HSE.

Sharing the Vision – A Mental Health Policy for Everyone, Ireland’s national mental health policy, was published in June 2020. It aims to enhance the provision of mental health services and supports across a broad continuum, from mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention to acute and specialist mental health service delivery, during the period 2020-2030.

The policy was collaboratively developed by the HSE and the Department of Health and overseen by the National Implementation and Monitoring Committee (NIMC). The NIMC is tasked with the implementation monitoring of the policy. The Plan sets out individual programme pathways of implementation for each of the 100 policy recommendations for the next three years.

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Minister Butler (pictured) said: “It was of paramount importance for me to establish the National Implementation and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) in 2020 to drive Sharing the Vision forward, to put the policy into practice and to ensure regular reporting to me as Minister for Mental Health. A number of Specialist Groups are now in place, progressing the priority issues of Women’s Mental Health, Youth Mental Health Transitions (from child to adult mental health services) and Acute Inpatient Bed Capacity. A Reference Group of Service Users and Family Members will be established by the end of Q1 2022. This is of critical importance, as service users, family members and carers must have strong input into all aspects of policy design and delivery so that service improvement can be informed by their perspective and lived experience.

“I would like to acknowledge the enormous work of the NIMC, the HSE and all other partners and stakeholders from across government, the public and voluntary and community sectors in the development of this implementation plan. The Sharing the Vision Implementation Plan 2022 – 2024 will enable us to build on innovation and progress achieved, and maintain the momentum necessary to put policy into practice and provide better mental health services for us all.

“The plan outlines the programme of work to deliver the recommendations over the next three years and has a strong emphasis on promoting positive mental health, progressing community based and primary care mental health supports, improving children and youth mental health services, and improving accessibility to mental health supports.”

Yvonne O’Neill, National Director, Community Operations, HSE said: “Sharing the Vision Implementation Plan 2022 – 2024 was developed through a process of system-wide HSE collaboration. Throughout implementation, we will build on this spirit of collaboration and coproduction, forming further partnerships and continuing to embed change across the system. Since the publication of A Vision for Change in 2006, there have many developments and service improvements across HSE services. The rollout of Sharing the Vision, through the steps laid out in this Implementation Plan benefits from the experience and learning from A Vision for Change, as well as the core service improvements such as the National Clinical Programmes and the establishment of the HSE Office for Mental Health Engagement and Recovery. Through the publication of this Implementation Plan we have a pathway to further enhance and expand HSE mental health services and supports.”

John Saunders, Chair of NIMC Steering Committee, said: “On behalf of the NIMC, I am delighted to welcome this Implementation Plan, The NIMC Steering Committee provides oversight of the policy implementation. This plan is not only a driver of change but is also a measure of change, in setting out clear annual milestones, against which we will measure the implementation, thereby greatly empowering our work, and enhanced governance of mental health service reform and improvements. The publication of this plan is a significant step forward in mental health policy in Ireland, speaking to the need for greater accountability and continuous improvement, as one of the core outcomes envisaged by the policy. This plan will assist in driving service improvements and structural, cultural and procedural change, and allow us to meet the challenges to come.”

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