The Department of Health has been carrying out a consultation on a new mental health strategy for the region to cover the years 2021-2031: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/mentalhealthstrategy. MUMO realises the urgency of a comprehensive mental health strategy to promote positive mental health and well being for people living in Northern Ireland and submitted a response.
Globally, it is estimated that less than 7 per cent of overall health budgets is allocated to address mental health. In Northern Ireland, spend on mental health is 27% less than England and 20% less than the Republic of Ireland despite having a much higher incidence of mental health problems, with a 25% higher overall prevalence of mental health problems than England.
MUMO made several recommendations including that every school has a full time counsellor employed by the Department of Education as part of the school’s staff team and that the availability of counselling through GP practices should increase – in line with the #123 campaign which Forthspring signed up to:
- Ensure that mental health counselling is available to all, regardless of where they live
- All counselling provision will be quality assured, adequately resources and of sufficient duration to meet individual needs
- If counselling is the agreed best form of support for a person, they should have to wait no longer than 28 days for a first appointment and no more than two days for an urgent appointment
- The role of local community-based providers (such as MUMO) in providing timely and accessible counselling will be fully recognised and resourced
- Delivery options should include face-to-face, telephone and online provision through an adequately resourced, in-house GP counselling service and/or recognised community-based provision
To read MUMO’s response click here: