Bradshaw says cost of living crisis makes need for longer term funding in health more pressing

Health Paula Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said the cost of living crisis has made the need for longer term funding and flexibility in approach more pressing, after the Mental Health Strategy Delivery Plan for 2022/23 was published.

The plan sets out prioritised workstreams under the 2021-31 Mental Health Strategy, which was published last year.

“While today the talk is of a heatwave, the priority issue on the horizon for many is how they are going to be able to get by in the winter with energy and other costs so high,” said South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw.

“We have already heard warnings from experts of the pressure that will place on the public’s mental well-being, and on the need to prioritise support in this area. The delivery plan is a welcome step in addressing this, but it too recognises its own limitations. Not everything required to implement the strategy can be set up immediately; so the plan rightly focuses on priority areas where progress can be made swiftly.

“Fundamentally, however, what confronts us is the ongoing inability of particular parties to recognise the real issues ahead, and the need to take responsibility for getting into government and taking decisive action on them. We need to be very clear this delivery plan and strategy are as high a priority as any issue we face.”