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Robin Swann to Appoint Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland

Tue, 28 - April - 2020

MindWise welcome the appointment of a

Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland

MindWise, alongside our Together for You partners, have long been campaigning for the appointment of a Mental Health Champion.  We welcome to news from Health Minister Robin Swann that he has commenced the appointment of a Mental Health Champion. Northern Ireland faces unique challenges in mental health and wellbeing, with rates of trauma-related disorders and suicide much higher than in the rest of the UK and Ireland. The mental health impact of Covid-19 on the Northern Ireland population must not be understated, and the lasting effects of it need to be mitigated and managed. Mental health needs parity of esteem with physical health, and this is an encouraging step towards this. 

The appointment of the new Mental health Champion will add to a wide range of initiatives already in place including support for those within the community and also for staff in the health and social care sector.

The role would be to champion and enhance mental health in all aspects of public life. In particular it would be expected that a champion would be:

  1. A public advocate for mental health and government advocate to support Departments and officials;
  2. A consensus builder;
  3. An adviser to senior stakeholders;
  4. A network hub for the development of positive mental health; and
  5. A challenger of decisions and policies.

We look forward to seeing how the appointment commences and as Secretariat of the All Party Group on Mental Health, we will be closely following any developments and ensuring promises made are upheld. 

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