“Expert Group must be equipped to confront the reality that when patients were moved out of mental hospitals into the community many ended up on the side of the road as no adequate local services were put in place” — Alice Leahy, DIRECTOR OF TRUST
TRUST today (August 6, 2003) challenged the Government to include representatives from the Agencies working with people who are homeless on the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy as the failure to provide adequate local care when patients were moved from Mental Hospitals into the community resulted in many ending up on the side of the road. While we welcome any initiative to tackle the serious state of the mental health services unless the Expert Group is fully equipped to look at the serious social consequences of current policy – in terms of actually creating homelessness – we are forced to ask is it be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past?
“Everyday in the course of our work we meet people who were formerly patients in mental hospitals now condemned to absolute social exclusion unable to cope. Indeed, some are so estranged form the system that they do not show up in the official statistics. To confront this reality it is vital that there are some representatives on the Expert Group with front line experience of this reality,” said ALICE LEAHY, DIRECTOR of TRUST.
ALICE LEAHY went on: “The Expert Group must be equipped to confront the reality that when patients were moved out of mental hospitals into the community many ended up on the side of the road as no adequate local services were put in place and we would urge the Minister to immediately rectify that surprising omission if he is serious about real reform.”
TRUST was founded in 1975 and is a non denominational, non party political body that provides health and social services for people who become homeless. TRUST is also committed to sharing the insights gained in its everyday work through education and advocacy.