Recent strategic direction for mental health in Northern Ireland has been reliant on the Bamford Review which published its reports between 2005 and 2007. The Review and its subsequent action plans were widely accepted to be a catalyst for the development of improved mental health and learning disability services in Northern Ireland, albeit with the recognition that some needs and gaps within services remained. It is now essential that the good work undertaken by statutory Health and Social Care organisations, independent contractors and the voluntary and community sector to progress the Bamford recommendations is consolidated and built upon. The co-produced Mental Health Action Plan published on 19 May 2020 by the Health Minister, Robin Swann MLA, set out a number of short term service improvements, but also laid the foundations for longer term strategic change. The first action set out in the Action Plan is to ‘co-produce a sustainable mental health strategy based on the needs of people, created through cross Departmental, cross sectoral and multidisciplinary co-production’.
This draft Strategy has been co-produced together with a broad range of stakeholders, including people with lived experience, carers, the interim Mental Health Champion, health and social care professionals, academics, the voluntary and community sector, other government departments and professional bodies.
You are encouraged to share your views on the draft Strategy using the online questionnaire available on the Citizen Space website, which can be accessed via the link below, or by submitting an email or hard copy response.
The Mental Health Strategy Consultation Privacy Statement is also available on the Department of Health website.
Please note the closing date for responses is 17.00 on Friday 26 March 2021.
Equality Impact Assessment
On 18 January the Department published a full Equality Impact Assessment on the Mental Health Strategy. This is being consulted on as part of this public consultation. To allow for the full 12 week consultation period required, responses relating to the EQIA will be accepted after the close of the main consultation, but must be received by 5pm on Monday 12 April 2021.
The Department will host a number of virtual consultation events during the consultation period. The first of these took place on Friday 29 January 2021 from 2-4pm via Zoom. Further information on other consultation events will be published on this page in due course.
The Department is holding a number of small, themed consultation meetings to provide an opportunity for individuals to virtually meet with the Strategy Project Team to discuss specific actions. These will focus on:
- Early intervention/prevention: 3 March 2-3pm
- Community mental health: 4 March 2-3pm
- Psychological therapy/digital model: 5 March 10-11am
- Children’s mental health: 5 March 11am-12pm
- Dual diagnosis: 5 March 2-3pm
- Pharmacy/medicine management: 9 March 2-3pm
- Specialist interventions: 10 March 10-11am
- Data and Outcomes: 11 March 10-11am
- Single mental health service: 11 March 3-4pm
- Workforce: 12 March 10-11am
Places are limited and can be booked by clicking the individual event titles above.