Home > Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs debate - youth mental health: discussion (resumed).

[Oireachtas] Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs debate - youth mental health: discussion (resumed). (09 Oct 2019)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/joint_...

Acting Chairman Senator Catherine Noone: On behalf of the joint committee, I welcome from the National Office for Suicide Prevention Mr. John Meehan, head, who is accompanied by Professor Philip Dodd; from the ISPCC, Mr. John Church, chief executive officer, and Ms Caroline O'Sullivan, director of services; from Mental Health Reform Ms Kate Mitchell; from EPIC Mr. Terry Dignan, chief executive officer, and Ms Karla Charles, policy manager; from the National Youth Council of Ireland Ms Rachael Treanor; and from SpunOut Mr. Ian Power, chief executive officer, and Ms Kiki Martire, head of training and quality.


I call Mr. John Meehan to make his opening statement.


Mr. John Meehan I am an assistant national director in the HSE and I am responsible for mental health strategy and planning. I am also the head of the HSE's National Office for Suicide Prevention. I am joined by Professor Philip Dodd, consultant psychiatrist, clinical professor and clinical adviser to the National Office for Suicide Prevention.


On behalf of Professor Dodd and myself, I thank the committee for the invitation to speak about the topic of youth mental health and suicide. We have submitted a briefing paper in advance of the meeting that gives greater detail on my remarks in my opening statement.


I will outline the strategic context for suicide prevention.


Connecting for Life, Ireland's national strategy to reduce suicide was launched in 2015 to run until 2020. The strategy was developed in line with the best national and international evidence available for effective suicide and self-harm prevention strategies. The strategy contains seven overarching goals and 69 targeted actions, each of which has a specific lead responsibility assigned to it. Along with the HSE, 22 Government Departments or agencies have made commitments to deliver on actions assigned to them under the strategy and over 28 charities or NGOs are receiving funding to deliver on work that supports these actions. While the NOSP carries lead responsibility for 16 of the 69 Connecting for Life actions, the role of the office also extends to driving the strategy, defining its milestones, monitoring its implementation and reporting progress across the multiple sectors and stakeholders.

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