Agnes Higgins, Professor in Mental Health at the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity, has just been appointed Chairperson of Mental Health Reform. Mental Health Reform is Ireland’s leading national coalition of organisations campaigning to transform mental health and well-being supports in Ireland.
Mental Health Reform provide a unified voice driving progressive reform of mental health supports in Ireland and Professor Higgins’ appointment is hugely prestigious in the field of mental care. It is a testament to Professor Higgins’ work in the field of mental health nursing and mental healthcare.
Professor Higgins is a qualified mental health nurse, general nurse and nurse tutor. She holds a primary degree from UCD, an MSc from DCU and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin. Her research interests are in the area of mental health recovery, service user involvement, gender and sexualities. She has completed studies on service users’ recovery journeys, impact of different models of recovery on users’ and family members’ experiences of recovery, factors influencing recover-oriented education, impact of peer-support on recovery outcomes, sexualities and LGBT mental health. She is widely published in her areas of expertise and is co-editor of the book ‘Mental Health in Ireland: Policy Practice and Law’ published by Gill and Macmillan in 2014, and co-author of ‘Narratives of Recovery; the role of peer support’ published by Rutledge in 2016.
Speaking about her appointment, Professor Higgins said, “I am honoured to take up the role of Chairperson of Mental Health Reform and to support its work as the national coalition driving reform of Ireland’s mental health system. I am keenly aware of the urgent need for improvements to the mental health and wider social services that support people’s recovery from mental health difficulties. There is a great opportunity now to deliver on the promise of A Vision for Change in the context of increased public support for mental health care, and I look forward to helping Mental Health Reform’s engagement with all people concerned to make that promise a reality.”
With over 50 member organisations and 10,000 individual supporters, Mental Health Reform (MHR) provides a consensus voice to Government and its agencies on how to improve the mental health system. MHR’s vision is of an Ireland where people with mental health difficulties can recover their well being and live a full life in the community. MHR conducts research, consults with stakeholders, develops good practice advice, informs policymakers and public agencies, and mobilises supporters to advocate for change.