June 18, 2020
Costed plan for Mental Health service required from Health Minister – Flynn

Órlaithí Flynn MLA and Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health has challenged the health minister over funding for mental health and suicide prevention initiatives.

Speaking after receiving confirmation from the department of health that the ‘Towards Zero Suicide’ programme will restart in July with an adapted plan to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Órfhlaithí Flynn said:

“I welcome confirmation from the Department of Health that the innovative suicide prevention programme, ‘Towards Zero Suicide’ will thankfully resume in July.

“It is a vital project which needs to be restarted as soon as possible. The programme has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and must be adapted to help meet the post COVID-19 demand on services.

“However, I am concerned that the Minister of Health has only bid for just over £2m in additional monies in the June Monitoring round specifically for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

“This needs to be considered in the context that mental health services are already under pressure, and that the suicide prevention strategy, Protect Life 2, has yet to be fully implemented. 

“We also are expecting a surge in demand for services as we exit the lockdown restrictions.

“I urge the Minister of Health to bring forward costed plans on how the expected demand for mental health services will be met.”

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