Health Minister Robin Swann has today announced the publication of the Mental Health Strategy Delivery Plan for 2022/23.
This sets out the prioritised workstreams under the 2021-31 Mental Health Strategy, which was published last year alongside a 10 year Funding Plan.
The Mental Health Strategy 2021-31 was clear that while there are some workstreams that can be progressed concurrently, it was not possible to start implementation of all actions simultaneously. Delivery therefore requires prioritisation, workforce mapping and planning and will be facilitated by way of annual Delivery Plans.
To help in the prioritisation of this implementation planning, the Department asked respondents to the public consultation on the draft Mental Health Strategy to prioritise their top five actions. The feedback has been considered alongside a range of other factors to help shape thinking around what can and should be progressed in 2022/23.
Minister Swann said: ‘I am very pleased to be able to publish this Plan, which brings life and structure to the implementation of the 10 year Mental Health Strategy.
“While a funding position has not yet been confirmed for 2022/23 and beyond, the Plan has been developed in order to outline the implementation work that can be taken forward within existing resources and to ensure that full implementation of other priority actions contained therein can commence, should additional funding be made available during 2022/23.”
The Mental Health Strategy Delivery Plan for 2022/23 has been developed jointly with key stakeholders across the HSC system, including the Strategic Planning and Performance Group within the Department, the Public Health Agency and the HSC Trusts, with input from key stakeholders including those in the Community and Voluntary sector, the Mental Health Champion, service users and other government Departments.
The Department has been using existing, limited resources to take forward a range of critical preparatory activities, alongside the work to complete key enabling actions that were started in 2021/22. While this funding allows the continuation of existing projects and other preparatory work, it is not sufficient to take forward full implementation of the Mental Health Strategy actions detailed in the body of the Plan.
Minister Swann stressed: “Implementation of the Mental Health Strategy is subject to the provision of additional funding to my Department. It is therefore critical that a budget is confirmed and allocated at the earliest opportunity.”
The Delivery Plan is published alongside Mental Health Strategy Co-Production/Design Principles. The intention behind these Principles is to give structure and meaning to the Department’s genuine desire to ensure continued co-production throughout implementation, building on the co-production that led to the development and publication of the Strategy.
Concluding the Minister said: “The Mental Health Strategy was co-produced together with a broad range of stakeholders. I remain fully committed to co-design and co-production, and my officials will continue on this path during the implementation of the Strategy.
“The Principles published today do not serve to supersede existing guidance but, rather, are intended as a statement of intent regarding our commitment to continued co-design and co-production throughout the implementation of the Strategy.”
Notes to editors:
- The Mental Health Strategy Delivery Plan for 2022/23 can be accessed on the Department website.
- Deliverability of the Mental Health Strategy is conditional on securing additional funding from outside the Department.
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