In Northern Ireland, mental ill health persists as a particular challenge. We're encouraging decision-makers to meet it head on.
In its 2019 report on the state of health funding in the region, Westminster’s Northern Ireland Affairs Committee stated: ‘Mental health is sometimes referred to as a “Cinderella service”… historically undervalued and underfunded. However, there is now a broad consensus around the value of effective mental healthcare and the principle of “parity of esteem” between mental and physical health.'
The restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive takes place against a backdrop in which wellbeing represents a live, prominent public health concern. It is one with which people and their political representatives are increasingly engaged.
Inspire wants that engagement to increase. The devolved institutions should place good mental health at the core of their outcomes, making it as central to the public consciousness as exercise, healthy eating and physical fitness. Dynamic policies that meet the myriad needs of the people accessing mental health services in Northern Ireland are an essential element of future progress.
This is ambitious, of course, but Inspire believes that it is more than possible; we believe it is wholly necessary. Local ministers and legislators must build on the momentum behind increasingly prominent calls for better services and improved mental health. They should concentrate their efforts on moulding a framework fit for all, one that tackles stigma and discrimination, fosters wellbeing and creates a compassionate recovery pathway for addiction.
In our briefing document, The Path Towards Wellbeing For All, we outline Northern Ireland’s mental health priorities and how devolved government can help us meet them.
Click here to access this document.