Armstrong and Mathison meet with Action Mental Health to discuss funding

Alliance Strangford MLAs have met with Action Mental Health to discuss funding the organisation receives and the services it provides.

Kellie Armstrong Nick Mathison ESF

Action Mental Health is one of a number of groups which receive funding from the European Social Fund, which supports businesses and charities across the UK. However, thanks to Brexit, it is due to end in March, to be replaced with the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong said organisations such as Action Mental Health had been left with an uncertain future as a result.

“With the impending end of ESF, groups such as Action Mental Health are facing uncertain times. It is not hyperbole to say the vital work they do across Northern Ireland is literally life-saving,” she said.

“The Shared Prosperity Fund is not going to deliver an effective source of funding to enable mental health support to be delivered at the same quality level as it currently is, and therefore we discussed with Action Mental Health CEO David Babington the need to secure more funding for the organisation.”

Nick Mathison MLA said the impact of Brexit is still being felt by such groups.

“Mental Health Champion Professor Siobhán O’Neill recently said we need to strengthen our mental health services by implementing the Mental Health Strategy in full. Instead, what we are going to see is a competitive process where strategic delivery will not be funded appropriately to meet need.

“Replacing ESF support with the Shared Prosperity Fund is not going to result in an equitable amount. Ultimately, it is going to be the people of Northern Ireland the groups providing for them who will pay the price for this loss of income, which is a direct result of Brexit.”