Hamilton announces start of funding for new world leading mental trauma service

Date published: 24 February 2016


Health Minister Simon Hamilton MLA will today announce initial funding for a new mental trauma service for Northern Ireland.

Health Minister announces start of funding for new world leading mental trauma service
Health Minister announces start of funding for new world leading mental trauma service

Mr Hamilton made the announcement at the opening of a mental health summit hosted by Action Mental Health.

Commenting, Simon Hamilton said: “Last year, I tasked officials with creating an innovative service which will meet the needs of those suffering from mental trauma and can become a world leader. I wanted us to develop a service that built upon the wealth of experience in mental trauma developed in Northern Ireland as a result of the Troubles and establish a world leading mental trauma service as a fitting and lasting legacy.

“I am pleased to report that positive progress is being made. The intention is that the final model will be based on the internationally-recognised Stepped Care approach, with low-level interventions provided by voluntary and community organisations, integrated with more intensive interventions by qualified professionals within the HSC under the auspices of a new Regional Specialist Service. To assist in getting our new mental trauma service off the ground I can confirm that I have invested £175,000 of funding for early set-up costs.

“My key aims in establishing the service are:

  • to comprehensively address the legacy of the Troubles and address unmet mental health needs;
  • to improve individual, family and community experiences of mental health trauma care;
  • to improve the psychological and social outcomes for individuals, their families and communities who have been traumatised as a result of the Troubles.

“I envisage that the service will allow for a range of interventions, meeting the spectrum of need across our community. It will involve leading edge, evidence-based treatments in line with NICE guidelines, with a focus on recovery of the individual.”

The Minister continued: “Mental health is an absolute priority for my Department, and the publication of Action Mental Health’s evaluation report in October acknowledges that there has been progress in realising the Bamford Vision for improving mental health provision. However we still face significant challenges.”

Concluding his remarks, the Minister said: “Mental Health funding has been increased to £247million annually, psychological therapies have been enhanced, and Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK to see an increase in spending by trusts on mental health in the last two years, with 1% additional last year, and 2.6% more this year. While our mental health services have come a long way in the last decade, we have much more to do and I am committed to further reform and innovation.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Media enquiries about this press release to DHSSPS Press Office on 9052 0575, or out of hours contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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