Mental Health Reform
March 9 2023
Mental Health Reform was founded in 2006 by five organisations aiming to hold the Government accountable in its delivery of policies. Over the years, MHR developed a strong membership. Today, they are Ireland’s leading national coalition on mental health. Together with their 80 member organisations, they work to drive progressive reform of mental health services and supports in Ireland.
Mental Health Reform are one of DFI's Members and we in turn are one of their members. We are delighted to have the opportunity to feature them in our Member Spotlight this month as we mark the fifth anniversary of Ireland's ratification of UN CRPD.
DFI's Communications Manager Brenda Drumm met with Fiona Coyle, CEO of Mental Health Reform and spoke to her about the interface between disability and mental health as well as the specific work undertaken by MHR in this space.
Fiona said they are a relatively young organisation but that in the 12 years they have been in existence there has been some change but that there is still a huge journey ahead when it comes to mental health reform in Ireland.
Fiona also spoke about the pressures that their member organisations are facing since the Covid 19 pandemic, and as a result of the cost of living crisis which is impacting on staff retention and recruitment. She also highlighted the long waiting lists that exist for those trying to access services.
Fiona spoke about the UN CRPD as a guiding beacon for the work that they do in Mental Health Reform.
She also spoke about the partnership approach with organisations like DFI saying it is important that we all work together collectively and raise our voices.
Fiona said, "People have rights and we as a country need to do better so it is very much about working in partnership as many voices are better than one!"
Listen to Fiona's interview here
Watch Fiona's CEO Tik Tok Postcard here
Brenda also met with MHR's Policy & Research Manager Ber Grogan and spoke to her about the policy and advocacy work undertaken by Mental Health Reform.
Ber explained that policy is a really important part of the work that they do in Mental Health Reform. She highlighted some of their recent campaign work around the Assisted Decision Making Act.
Ber explained that their role in MHR is to bring the voice of the people and their members to the policy makers.
She also highlighted the work that MHR continues to do with the UN CRPD including the short guide they have prepared on it.
Ber said that one of the areas that they are keen to share is the lived experience of those with mental health difficulties so that their voices are heard in a way that does not retraumatise them and so as they feel supported in doing so.
Listen to the interview here
Find out more about Mental Health Reform on their websitewww.mentalhealthreform.ie.