Executive will work together to improve mental health - Ministers

Date published: 22 January 2020

A new Executive working group on mental well-being and resilience will be established, Ministers have said.

First Minister Arlene Foster, deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill and Executive Ministers pictured following their meeting at Greenmount.

The Executive made the move during a special meeting around the planning of crucial public services, where the issue of mental health was high on the agenda.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “We had a very productive meeting of the Executive today where we took the opportunity to look at the challenges and opportunities for the new Executive, and how we can work collaboratively together.

“It was very clear from our discussion that we share a determination to play our part in improving society’s mental health and well-being.

“I welcome the Health Minister Robin Swann’s drive to tackle this issue and can assure him of the support of the Executive in delivering improvements.”

The deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Mental health does not discriminate. It’s an issue that affects people in all walks of life, across all communities.

“This is not just a matter for the Department of Health. It is much broader, much more complex and all Ministers have a role to play.

“All parties in the Executive recognise this and we are all committed to keeping this issue at the heart of government. We will work across departments and sectors to tackle this issue from every angle.”

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I am committed to doing everything I can to improve people’s mental health and well-being. However, this is an issue that requires a strategic, coordinated and sustained approach across government departments.

“I very much welcome the support of the entire Executive in making suicide prevention and mental health a top priority and the commitment to work across departmental boundaries to make progress on this crucial issue.”

The Executive will consider the composition and remit of the working group at their meeting next Monday.

Notes to editors: 

1. Media enquiries to TEO press office on 028 9037 8204. Out of office hours, please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

2. Follow us on Twitter @niexecutive

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