Bradshaw urges participation in mental health strategy consultation

Paula Bradshaw Mental Health

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has urged participation in a new consultation on a mental health strategy for Northern Ireland.

Health Minister Robin Swann has launched the consultation on the ten-year strategy designed to improve mental health and well-being here. It contains 29 actions for change, including the creation of a single mental health service to ensure regional consistency and access across Northern Ireland. The consultation is available on the Department of Health website and will run until March 26.

“I welcome the publication of this long overdue consultation document, and I would urge everyone to take a look at it and respond,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“Mental health and well-being is an issue for each and every one of us, and never more so than during periods of lockdown when it becomes harder to identify mental health issues, particularly in younger people, and loneliness and detachment become a significant issue.

“We need to emphasise what we have experienced since March is far from normal and we will all to some extent have lived through a trauma. Looking after our own and others’ mental health is a civil responsibility, to be supported by greatly enhanced and reformed services.

“I hope the consultation is the beginning of a process which leads swiftly to a comprehensive strategy which will improve mental well-being for each and every one of us.”