Press Release

Committee Welcomes Action Mental Health Manifesto

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Monday, 07 February 2011

Reference: E&L 09/10/11

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Employment and Learning has welcomed the launch of Action Mental Health’s manifesto at Stormont today.

The manifesto outlines Action Mental Health’s vision on how mental health provision should be developed in Northern Ireland. The Employment and Learning Committee has looked at a variety of aspects of mental health, most recently the mental health impact on those young people not in education, employment or training. The Committee has also expressed considerable concern about the high number of young people here who take their own lives.

Chairperson of the Committee, Dolores Kelly, MLA said: “We are very aware of the impact of the current economic climate on the mental health of our population. People are fearful for their jobs and worry about paying their mortgages and bills. The Committee is concerned that cuts in the budgets of mental health organisations at a time of financial uncertainty will prove disastrous.

“The Committee supports Action Mental Health’s calls for positive engagement with the public sector. This group provides a tailored service to get people who have had mental health problems back into work. This is good for everybody concerned as it has been shown that work can be used as therapy to allow people to overcome mental health issues.

“I am pleased to co-host today’s manifesto launch as the Assembly must act to protect those that are most vulnerable in society.”

Deputy Chairperson Jonathan Bell, MLA agreed that mental health is an issue that affects us all. He said: “We must ensure that we do not make ‘easy’ cuts in budgets of mental health service providers such as Action Mental Health. The Committee believes that there needs to be a rethink of the 25% cut to European Social Fund money that is so vital to these organisations.”

Notes to Editors:

The Committee Chairperson is Mrs Dolores Kelly MLA
Deputy Chairperson: Mr Jonathan Bell MLA

Committee members:
Mr. Sydney Anderson MLA 
Mr. Paul Butler MLA 
Rev. Dr. Robert Coulter MLA 
Mr. Chris Lyttle MLA 
Mr. David McClarty MLA 
Mrs. Claire McGill MLA 
Ms. Sue Ramsey MLA 
Mr. Pat Ramsey MLA 
Mr. Peter Weir MLA

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