Health Minister launches Mental Health Champion Recruitment Process

Date published: 04 March 2021

Health Minister Robin Swann today launched his Department’s recruitment competition seeking to appoint a permanent Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland.

Launching the competition the Minister said: “From the moment I took office I was clear that improving the mental health outcomes of the population of Northern Ireland was one of the top priorities for me as Minister.

“Despite the emergence of other high profile priorities I remain determined to maintain momentum in this important work. By seeking to appoint a Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland I feel that another key step is being taken to ensure that we can reform our response to our society’s mental health challenges.

“Listening to stakeholders from across the sector I was struck by the almost universal calls for the creation of a strong effective and independent voice to advocate on their behalf. The appointment of a Mental Health Champion underpins the provision of that voice across government, now and in the future. Therefore it gives me great pleasure to launch this competition.”

The competition is being advertised on the Department of Health’s website and the process will be competitive. The current interim Mental Health Champion, Professor Siobhan O’Neill has agreed to continue in post until a permanent appointee can be identified.

The Minister concluded: “This process and role of the Mental Health Champion was established with the support of the whole Executive. A permanent appointee from this process will ensure mental health issues can be addressed collaboratively across Government, as we seek a brighter future on the road to recovery, post pandemic. Putting the voice of those suffering at the core of government recovery planning.” 

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Mental Health Champion recruitment documents can be found on the Department of Health website and the closing date is 9 April 2021.
  2. The Champion will be a public advocate for mental health, communicating the collective voices of people with lived experience, their families and carers, and communities impacted by mental health inequalities.
  3. As a mental health advocate the Champion will act as a positive conduit between government and service delivery.
  4. The Mental Health Champion will work across public, voluntary, independent sectors and wider society, to integrate mental health into policies and provide advice to these stakeholders.
  5. For media queries please contact DoH Press Office by email:
  6. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.
  7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Back to top