Cameron – important to prioritise mental health provision

The DUP’s South Antrim MLA Pam Cameron has said with the additional £10m per year support for mental health services through the DUP-Conservative Confidence and Supply Agreement ended, the provision of mental health services must be prioritised within the Department of Health.

By Pam Cameron MLA

South Antrim

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Mrs Cameron said,

“Action Mental Health New Horizons in Antrim is a superb project supporting those who have experienced mental ill health. Through this project, people are supported to enter education, training or employment.

This project was funded by the European Social Fund, and it is vital that the Department of Health steps up engagement with the Government to ensure the UK Prosperity Fund can fill the gap by supporting projects like this.

The DUP prioritised mental health funding by securing a five-year ring-fenced commitment of £10 million per year under the Confidence and Supply Agreement but this funding stream ended this year. This funding was transformative in that it was ring-fenced and secure.

I trust that the needs of Action Mental Health and related stakeholders continue to be heard in discussions around the allocation of UKSPF. We have written to the Minister on this issue and will continue to support the Chief Executive and his team in securing future funding to retain these important services.

It is critical that we meet funding requirements for mental health services so that support for those suffering from poor health across the Province, not just the South Antrim Area, will be maintained. Projects like Action Mental Health receive referrals from across the health service and employment advisors, thus picking up what would otherwise amount to a gap in service provision.”

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