The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission says he wants all hostels and community centres that provide mental health support and services to be regulated.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, John Farrelly said there has been improvement in the care and treatment of people with mental health issues.

However, he said the commission is particularly interested in addressing the human rights of patients, in particular, issues around privacy, dignity and care planning.

He added that he is concerned some providers are not capable of providing essential high standards of care.

Mr Farrelly said a recent report from the inspector of mental hospitals found evidence of "dirty, smelly wards".

He added that integrated multi disciplinary care is a minimum requirement.

"We're particularly interested in the human rights of people. For example, we're finding issues around privacy, dignity, care planning," said Mr Farrelly.

"Where we find particular issues, this is what we find. So the idea in a modern age is, if you're suffering from a mental health issue and you're unwell, you receive integrated care in a centre that looks after your privacy and your dignity. We're finding issues around that."

When asked about the use of physical restraint, Mr Farrelly said there is no evidence that physical restraint or seclusion is therapeutic.

He pointed out that some centres are able to provide care without using either method.

Mr Farrelly said he is concerned about the treatment of children with mental health difficulties in adult units.

Around 80 children are cared for in adult units which, he said, was an improvement.

Mr Farrelly said a capital investment in the mental health sector is needed.


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