Alliance MLAs have met Mental Health Champion Siobhán O’Neill to discuss implementation of the Mental Health Strategy and ongoing concerns at the role of sectarianism in reinforcing poor mental health.
Speaking after the meeting at Parliament Buildings, Upper Bann MLA Éoin Tennyson said “We were pleased to meet the Mental Health Champion today so that we may reinforce our support for the full implementation of the Mental Health Strategy.”
“Issues arising from the pandemic, ongoing sectarianism, and the cost of living crisis only emphasise how essential the strategy is, and how vital full implementation of it is to our collective well-being.”
“We continue to have concerns that funding is not guaranteed for the full strategy. When we say it must be fully implemented, the complexity of the issues within it demonstrate just how vital it is that all aspects are covered in its delivery.”
“We were particularly impressed by the promise of the early implementation plans to cover prevention of mental ill-health in the first place, and early intervention. This is essential across all aspects of what we do in health and care of any kind.”
“We will now be putting a strong focus on ensuring the strategy is implemented in its entirety without delay. Our collective future will be greatly enhanced by it.”
Also in attendance was Lagan Valley MLA Sorcha Eastwood, and South Belfast MLA Paula Bradshaw.