CLM also held a roundtable on the topic of mental health and the social welfare system in November at the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission offices. Participants examined the challenges faced by applicants who have mental health difficulties in the context of accessing social welfare payments and by recipients who are subject to a medical review process. The roundtable also explored the differences in treatment experienced by applicants who have mental health difficulties in comparison to applicants who have physical disabilities.
Judy Walsh, Director of the Equality Studies Centre at UCD provided an overview of rights in terms of Equality Law and Human Rights Law. John Bohan, Principal Officer with responsibility for Disability & Carer Policy with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection outlined the Department's disability policy. Martin Rogan, CEO Mental Health Ireland addressed the topic from his experience of advocating on behalf of clients and highlighted the challenges faced by applicants with mental health difficulties and their experience of navigating the social welfare system.
We would like to thank all of our excellent speakers and attendees for what was a very engaging and informative discussion. Many thanks also to the staff of the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission for their help in organising the event.
CLM intends to draft a submission following on from the roundtable and shall make recommendations in terms of changes or measures that could be put in place that could accommodate the needs of applicants with mental health difficulties.