Alliance Calls For Increase In Mental Health Funding

Alliance Economy spokesperson, David Honeyford MLA, has urged for greater investment in services to combat the high levels of poor mental health in Northern Ireland.

The Lagan Valley MLA made this call as the Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee released its report on Mental Health Services in Northern Ireland on June 20th.

Mr Honeyford, who is a member of the committee, has said: "When we looked into the progress made with the Department of Health's Mental Health Strategy since its launch in 2021, we were shocked to find the level of underfunding. In those first three years, the Department of Health allocated just £10m to implementing the strategy. That’s £24m less than the estimated amount required.
News Image
"We have the lowest level of spending on mental health compared to the rest of the UK and Ireland. A mere 5.7% of the health budget is spent on mental health, compared to 14.1% in England. If we want to prioritise mental health, it’s not enough to draw up strategies. We need to provide the funds to enable those plans to make a real change to people who need help.

"I’m also concerned that the Department has become reliant on underfunded voluntary and community organisations, such as the Samaritans, Barnardo’s and, in my own constituency, Emerge Counselling Services. These organisations often rely on precarious short-term government support. Their funding needs to be put on a firm footing if they are to continue with their invaluable work.

"Not spending money on mental health services is a false economy. Many of these conditions are preventable, and by funding mental health services correctly we can also make positive changes that will benefit all of society."

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

07 March 2019
Student Mental Health Services Allocated £150k
Student mental health services in Belfast are set to benefit from a first of its kind pilot project worth £150,000.
10 October 2022
Swann Announces New Regional Mental Health Service
Health Minister Robin Swann has announced new Regional Mental Health Service in Northern Ireland – one of the key enabling actions contained within the Mental Health Strategy published in June 2021.
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.
29 September 2021
£8.7m Boost For Mental Health Services
Charitable and community mental health services are set to benefit from a new £8.7 million support grant, Health Minister Robin Swann has announced.
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