Mental Health Commission


The Mental Health Commission is an independent body set up under the Mental Health Act 2001.

The Mental Health Commission's role is to:

  • Promote, encourage and foster high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services
  • Protect the interests of people who are detained in approved psychiatric centres
  • Regulate in-patient mental health services

What does the Mental Health Commission do?

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has a number of responsibilities under the Act including:

  • Appointing mental health tribunals to review the detention of patients involuntarily detained and appointing a legal representative for each patient.
  • Establishing and maintaining a Register of Approved Centres that are in-patient facilities providing care and treatment for people with a mental illness and mental disorder.
  • Making rules regulating the use of specific treatments and interventions such as ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy), seclusion and mechanical restraint.
  • Developing codes of practice, guidance, standards for people working in mental health services and enable them to provide high quality care and treatment to service users.
  • Appointing the Inspector of Mental Health Services to inspect approved psychiatric centres annually and report to the MHC.

The MHC's role was extended by the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015, which established the Decision Support Service. The Decision Support Service is for adults who require help, now or in the future, to exercise their right to make decisions about their personal welfare, property or affairs.

You can read more information on Assisted Decision-Making in our section on legal matters and health.

Members of the Mental Health Commission

The Mental Health Commission has a board of 13 members with responsibility for developing and implementing the organisation’s strategic plan. The current strategic plan (pdf) runs from 2023 up to the end of 2027.

The board must include people with specific experiences or professional skills including representatives from the fields of:

  • General health
  • Psychiatry
  • Nursing
  • Social work
  • Psychology

Three board members must be from voluntary bodies that promote the interest of persons suffering with mental illness (with at least 2 who must have or have had a mental illness). One board member must represent the interests of the general public.

You can find out more about the Mental Health Commission and its work on its website.

Further information

Mental Health Commission

Waterloo Exchange
Waterloo Road
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 (0)1 636 2400
Fax: +353 (0)1 636 2440
Page edited: 30 May 2024