Further consultation on Mental Health Act 2001 launched

A fresh public consultation on the ongoing review of the Mental Health Act 2001 has been launched in advance of new legislation.

The 2001 Act has been under review since 2011 and a public consultation was held prior to the publication of an expert group report in 2015.

Mary Butler, minister of state for mental health and older people, said: “While the review of the Act is based on the 2015 expert group report, which included a public consultation, and garnered widespread support, I am delighted to be able to give the public another opportunity to share their views.”

She added: “The review of the Act, being led by the Department of Health has been ongoing for the past several years, and since producing a first version of draft heads to amend the Act in July 2019 has carried out extensive engagement with the Mental Health Commission and the HSE.

“he Act sets out the care and treatment of some of our most vulnerable in society. Furthermore, it is a considerably large and very complex piece of legislation with over 120 sections. It has taken time to ensure that the Act and its review, and the impact of any legislative changes on service users, were properly and fully considered.

“The review has also had to take account of new and emerging legislation, including the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 and any interdependencies or interactions with the 2001 Act. We are preparing legislation that is person centred and which takes a human rights approach to the care and treatment of mental health service users.”

Ms Butler said the review of the 2001 Act “is nearly complete, and this public consultation is the final piece needed to inform the review”.

The public consultation will run in parallel with a legal review of the general scheme of the bill and legislation will be brought to the Oireachtas “without delay”.

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