Joined Up Approach is Essential to Promoting Positive Mental Health
Date: Monday, 19 October 2009
Reference: PN HSSPS 01/09/10
A joined up approach to promoting mental health is essential, the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Health and Education Committees heard today.
The Committees came together to hear from the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health (NIAMH) on the importance of devising a strategy to promote a healthy and flourishing population in Northern Ireland.
The Chair of the joint Committee, Jim Wells MLA said: “We recognise the importance of improving mental health strategies in Northern Ireland. The consequences of poor mental health can be felt in every aspect of a person’s life. It affects not just the individual but also impacts on their family and the wider community.
“We recognise that these issues cut across Departmental and Committee responsibilities. For that reason, the two Assembly Committees for Health and Education have come together to hear about tackling mental health issues.
The Deputy Chair of the joint Committee, Mervyn Storey MLA said: “It is imperative that the two Departments provide support where they can to promote positive mental wellbeing. Working across two Committees has given us the opportunity to consider how the two Departments could work together to meet the needs of the individuals concerned.”
The report was commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, in December 2008 and describes how individuals and communities can work to promoting good mental health in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Mervyn Storey MLA, Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly's Committee for Education, Mr. Jim Wells, Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly's Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Dr. Gerry Leavey, Research Director of the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health and Graham Logan, Policy Development Manager of the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health.
Notes to Editors:
The new Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy will run in parallel with the Suicide Prevention Strategy, ‘Protect Life – A Shared Vision’.