13/05/2021

NI Is Facing 'Unprecedented' Health Challenges - Swann

Northern Ireland is facing "unprecedented" mental health challenges following the pandemic, according to Health Minister Robin Swann.

Mr Swann said there was a shortfall of £100m to £150m in mental health provision in Northern Ireland and called for urgent funding to address the situation and to put mental health on an even footing with physical health.

Speaking to the Stormont committee he said: "Given that this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, it is entirely appropriate that we give this topic the platform and focus it deserves.
News Image
"It is hugely important that we use this opportunity to strive to reduce stigma associated with mental ill health, to improve support for those who need it and to secure the resources to ensure we have a system that adequately cares for our community."

Mr Swann said a key element of the strategy would be a funding plan.

He said: "This will set out more clearly the funding requirements to see the strategy implemented, and as I have mentioned, the figures will be significant.

"But now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand - we have seen the needs of our communities increase during the last year, we know it is unlikely to significantly improve, and we are building on a shaky foundation of years and years of under-investment.

"Now is the time for action, and I trust Committee members will be supportive of all attempts to secure additional resources to achieve our strategy's aims and improve mental health outcomes for all in Northern Ireland."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

09 October 2001
World Mental Health Day helps to dispel myths
The Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Bairbre de Brún, has emphasised the importance of World Mental Health Day which is taking place on 10 October.
11 October 2011
Poots Targets Mental Health Care
NI Mental health has been getting a focus this week with news that the Stormont Health Minister Edwin Poots has launched his Department's Service Framework for Mental Health and Wellbeing Announced on World Mental Health Day on Monday, the framework sets standards for the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, care and rehabilitation of peop
18 November 2003
One in four NI people will develop mental health problems
A new study has revealed that around one in four people in Northern Ireland will develop mental health problems in their lifetime.
26 April 2012
Suicide Awareness Training To Be Introduced To Council Staff
Suicide awareness training is to be introduced for all staff and politicians at Belfast City Council, the Lord Mayor has announced. The new initiative is just one outcome of a community conference hosted at City Hall by Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile.
17 September 2014
£32m Mental Health Facility Approved
A new £32m mental health facility has been approved for Belfast City Hospital. This new facility will centralise all acute mental health inpatient beds for the Belfast Trust and will consist a 74-bed acute mental health unit and a six-bed psychiatric intensive care unit.