A 24/7 crisis intervention services for mental health is needed immediately.

mental health dessie

Speaking last night in Leinster House, Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis said that the Fianna Fáil mental health amendment Bill has positive aspects but does not go far enough and a strong, rights-based approach should be front and centre of any legislation.

The Dublin North West TD said:

“This state over the years has abdicated its duty of care to many sections of our communities. We are slowly very slowly, coming into line where we treat all citizens of this nation equally. This motion is welcome as it is a positive improvement on current legislation.

“However, it does not go far enough as it fails to establish a strong, rights-based approach which should meet the standard set by the convention on the rights of people with a disability, which this house must ratify without delay. It does not provide for strengthening of rights to advocacy or assistance in making these decisions regarding care or no right to an independent second opinion in the determining of capacity.

“Any positive change has to be welcomed and so the amendment changing the definition of a ‘voluntary patient’ to include only people who have capacity to make their own decisions (with support if required) and who do give their consent to admission to hospital is an important distinction. Despite the changes especially in this aspect if the government does not support the work of the health services it will still not be enough.

“Access and availability of services locally and in our communities need to be resourced properly. The work being done on mental health by voluntary groups and individuals are saving this country money and more importantly lives. I commend all those who give time, energy, and commitment but at the moment there is a huge deficit in our system as at weekends or after hours on a weekday, services are not available.

“A 24/7 crisis intervention services for mental health is needed immediately.”

Jobstown Trial ‘ludicrous’

Dessie Ellis TD speaking at 2015 Ard Fheis

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has said that it is ridiculous that the Jobstown trial has reached this stage and that people are being prosecuted for engaging in legitimate protest.

Speaking after attending the court today, the Dublin North West TD said:

“I cannot believe that it has come to this where people are being tried for legitimate protest and the state now seeks to brand them as criminals and possibly imprison them.

“To trump up the charge to false imprisonment seems ludicrous and diminishes that very serious charge. Strict controls on who was eligible for jury selection only further demonstrate the level of paranoia with which the state views the anti-water charges movement. To say that having expressed an opinion on water charges on social media would impact on the ability of a juror to impartially determine the guilt or innocence of someone accused of the crime of false imprisonment goes against the essence of a fair trial.

“The seven defendants deserve, first and foremost, a trial before a jury of their peers and they most certainly do not deserve a charge of false imprisonment, one which in this case carries a possible life sentence is too far a step entirely.”