Appointment of Director of Mental Health

To ask the Minister for Health when a permanent appointment will be made to the position of the Director of the National Suicide Prevention office

Dear Deputy Neville,

The Health Service Executive has been requested to reply directly to you in the context of the above Parliamentary Questions, which you submitted to the Minister for Health for response. I have examined the matter and the following outlines the position.

Mr. Geoff Day, Assistant National Director was appointed as the Director, National Office for Suicide Prevention in 2005 and he retired in October 2011. When his retirement was announced, given the importance of the role and the necessity to continue the work of the National Office for Suicide Prevention, it was decided by the HSE that Ms. Catherine Brogan, National Planning Specialist for Mental Health would take up the position, as Acting Director, from the date of Mr Day’s retirement, pending approval to retain and fill the post following the seeking of expressions of interest and redeployment within the HSE.

Approval was received in late December 2011 to fill the Director post by redeployment within the HSE following an Expressions of Interest process. Expressions of Interest have been invited nationally from staff employed by the HSE at their existing grade of General Manager Level or above and who are interested in reassigning to work as the Director, National Office for Suicide Prevention. The closing date for receipt of expressions of interest is Monday 13th February 2012. Skills match meetings of interested individuals are scheduled for early March 2012 and following completion of this process, a Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention will be assigned.

In NSP2012, the HSE has committed a further €3m to the National Office for Suicide Prevention to implement the recommendations of Reach Out.

I trust this information is of assistance to you but should you have any further queries please contact me.