Everyone has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of mental health.
Article 12(1), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
On 24 January 2006, the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy established by the Department of
Health and Children published a new national mental health policy framework, A Vision for
Change, subsequently adopted by Government and the Health Services Executive (HSE). It
proposed significant changes and improvements in mental health services, and a true movement
of services into the community. It made important recommendation for empowerment, advocacy,
peer support, offering a range of therapies, supporting carers, and, perhaps most importantly,
recovery. It also recognises the crucial importance of having service users centrally involved in
all planning and decision-making, from official processes to their individual cases. It is not just a
mental health services policy – it addresses a wide range of Government Departments and
agencies, which must take responsibility for their role.