Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn has welcomed the second meeting of the Executive group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and said words must be followed by action.
Speaking after the meeting, the West Belfast MLA said:
“I was encouraged that Protect Life 2 and the ‘Elephant in the Room’ report were prominent in todays’s discussions.
“Protect Life 2 provides a strong framework to develop services and provide effective cross-department interventions. Greater cooperation between departments and within communities is vital to promoting mental health and tackling suicide.
“The Elephant in the Room report demonstrates the benefit of real cooperation with communities and I commend the work of the youth groups involved in emphasising the need for urgent action.
“The urgency for action on mental health and suicide prevention is greatly exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. I hope this will be fully appreciated by the new Mental Health Champion Siobhan O’Neill in her work going forward.
“Words and plans need to be followed with actions and resources, particularly from the Department of Health.
“Just this week I challenged the Health Minister Robin Swann to provide the additional resources needed to deliver the promised actions.
“These resources need to be forthcoming now – people at risk of mental ill health and suicide can’t continue to wait.”