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The annual report of the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland 2018-19


This is my 11th Annual Report and in this year’s report I have focused on positive mental health, with an emphasis on children and young people.

Just like physical health, we all have mental health. Our mental health is how we think, feel and act. It controls how we manage day-to-day life and stressful situations. It is important we look after both our physical and mental health from
infancy through to adulthood and throughout our adult life.

Protecting and nurturing mental health in childhood contributes to productive social relationships, effective learning and good physical health throughout life. My report focuses on a number of initiatives that currently help families, children and young people address the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Parents have a key role to play in building the skills necessary for strong emotional wellbeing in their children, such as positive self-esteem and resilience. Programmes such as Family Nurse Partnership and Think Family NI are available which support parents to nurture their child’s emotional wellbeing and to build a supportive home environment.

GPs, midwives, health visitors, social workers and teachers also play a vital role in the emotional wellbeing of children and young people, through identification, intervention and referral to targeted support.

The stigma associated with mental health can make difficulties worse and can prevent people from seeking the help and support they need. The effects of stigma on a person with mental ill health and those close to them are far reaching.

We must all work together to help reduce the levels of stigma and negative attitudes around mental health.

This year I have changed the format of my report to make it more accessible on-line and via mobile phones.

It sets out some of the work we are doing in Northern Ireland to improve mental health and wellbeing and contains links to websites where you can find a range of other, more detailed, information and resources.

I hope that you will find my report interesting and useful, and please share it with others.

Dr Michael McBride - Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland
Introduction Image


1 in 5 people in Northern Ireland
will be affected by mental ill-health in their lifetime. The
other 4 will know a friend, family
member or colleague who will. ... more


Lifelong Mental Health Image

Lifelong Mental Health

Self-help Minding Your Head -Take 5 steps to wellbeing ... more

Signposts to health image

Signposts to Health

Useful contact numbers and e-mail addresses of mental health organisations ... more

Key Statistics Image

Key Statistics

These statistics are taken from the Health Survey (NI)
First Results 2017/18.  ... more

Next Page - Introduction


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