The country profile of Ireland
Barry, Margaret M.
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Barry, MM (2006) 'The country profile of Ireland' In: Jané-Llopis, E; Anderson, P (Eds.). Mental Health Promotion and Mental Disorder Prevention across European Member States: A Collection of Country Stories. Luxembourg : European Communities.
Within the Republic of Ireland, there has been increasing recognition in recent years, at both policy and practice level, of the importance of mental health promotion and prevention of mental disorders for overall population health and well-being. The National Health Strategy 'Quality and Fairness: A Health System for You' (2001) calls for the development of a new action programme for mental health including mental health promotion and stigma reduction. An Expert Group on Mental Health Policy was established in 2004 to devise a new national mental health policy. A sub-group on Mental Health Promotion and the Prevention of Mental Ill-health was set up in April 2004 in order to inform the Expert Group's recommendations in relation to the inclusion of mental health promotion and prevention as an integral part of the new Mental Health Policy. The National Health Promotion Strategy (2000-2005) includes, as one of its strategic aims, the promotion of positive mental health through identifying models of best practice, and initiating research into the development of a national positive mental health strategy. The Report of the National Task Force on Suicide (1998) makes several recommendations concerning the use of mental health promotion and primary prevention strategies in preventing suicide, now the leading cause of death among young men in Ireland. A National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention 'Reach Out' was published in 2005 and a National Office for Suicide Prevention was established within the Health Services Executive. A number of strategies and initiatives have also been developed by national voluntary organizations (e.g. Mental Health Association of Ireland Strategic Plan 2000-2005) and the Health Promotion departments in the regional health service areas e.g. a specific regional Mental Health Promotion Strategy and Action Plan (2005-2010) is being implemented in the North West region.
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