Bradshaw marks Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and calls for restoration of the Executive so that vital action can be taken

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has spoken out in support of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (6-12 February), having raised a motion this week on infant mental health in particular, and has called for restoration of the Executive so that vital action can be taken.

Health Paula Bradshaw Mental Health

The motion calls on the Assembly to recognise the specific Action encased within the Mental Health Strategy around infant mental health, to endorse the manifesto of the Association for Infant Mental Health, and to support further enhancement of the Mental Health Strategy.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week was first launched in 2015 by the charity Place2Be, with the aim of highlighting the importance of inspiring good mental health in children and young people, and recognising the struggles many face.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Let’s Connect’.

“With today’s children and young people facing such a wide array of growingly pervasive challenges, it’s never been more important to raise awareness of the difficulties many face, and how essential it is for both themselves and the adults in their lives to help look after their mental health,” said Paula.

“Whilst charity organisations like Place2Be do amazing work and provide so many vital resources in this area, there is still so much more we can do to help.

“With that in mind, in the case of infant mental health in particular, I have raised a motion which calls on the Assembly to consider a number of measures that would reaffirm our commitment to enhancing the Mental Health Strategy in such ways that would result in a positive impact on infant mental health, such as taking action to reduce poverty, stress, fear and anxiety on parents and care-givers.

“We would also call on any eventual Health Minister to implement a collaborative plan on infant mental health.

“However, with the current impasse at Stormont as a result of the DUP’s continued boycott, we are unfortunately unable to actually take any desperately needed action on this. It's unacceptable.

“It is now entirely evident that if we want these sorts of issues to be given the urgent attention they deserve, we need to reform the institutions so that parties willing to take responsibility for such issues which have an impact on all of us can do so.”