Policy Forum for Ireland

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Next steps for mental health policy in Ireland

All day, Thursday, 28th April 2022

This conference will examine priorities and next steps for mental health policy in Ireland.

We’re pleased to be able to include a keynote contribution from Mary Butler TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People.

Issues for discussion include how to tackle the effects of the pandemic; staff recruitment, retention, and support; and next steps for both child mental health services and acute psychiatric services in Ireland.

Following the call from the Department for Health for updated legislation on mental health with reform of the Mental Health Act, the conference will be a timely opportunity to consider what change is needed to deliver the greatest benefit, and the implications for mental health services and those that deliver and receive them.

We also expect discussion on the application and impact of the €1.149bn allocated to mental health services in the 2022 Budget. Delegates will look at how the funding can be best placed to help tackle the effects of the pandemic - with it being targeted towards extra out-of-hours support services, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), and the national clinical mental health programmes.

Overall, sessions in the agenda look at:

  • mental health policy in Ireland - including priorities following COVID-19
  • quality, standards, and safety - priorities for provision and improvement
  • the mental health and social care workforce - recruitment, retention, and support for physical and mental wellbeing
  • delivering mental health policy ambitions - funding, value for money, and organisation
  • provision across child and adult mental health services - tackling the effects of the pandemic, meeting increased demand, and ensuring high standards in individual care
  • severe mental illness - tackling stigma, delivering quality patient care focused on personal autonomy and dignity, and priorities for policy

Keynote Speaker

Mary Butler TD

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People


Neasa Hourigan TD

Green Party Spokesperson on Health

Deputy John Lahart

Member, Sub Committee on Mental Health

Mark Ward TD

Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Health,

Senator Annie Hoey

Member, Sub-Committee on Mental Health


Emma Dolan

Clinical Director, Pieta House

Sinead O’Brien

Executive Clinical Director, Cork MHS & Consultant Psychiatrist-HBCT, EIP and Aisling Nua Day Hospital

Dr Joseph Duffy

Chief Executive Officer, Jigsaw

Paul Gilligan

Chief Executive Officer, St Patricks Mental Health Services

Martin Rogan

Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Ireland

Dr William Flannery

President, College of Psychiatrists of Ireland

Fiona Coyle

Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Reform

Professor Mary Cannon

Professor of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Dr Margo Wrigley

National Clinical Lead for the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Programme, Health Service Executive

Nicola Byrne

Chief Executive Officer, Shine

Professor Sinead McGilloway

Founder Director, Centre for Mental Health and Community Research, Maynooth University

Dominic Layden

Chief Executive Officer, Aware Ireland