Upper Bann MLA welcomes new regional Mental Health Crisis Service

A new regional Mental Health Crisis Service for NI has been welcomed by Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly.

Mrs Kelly was speaking after Health Minister Robin Swann announded the service as part of the new Mental Health Action Plan.

It is hoped the new service will reduce the number of people who attend Emergency Departments in crisis and also reduce the number of people who have to wait longer than two hours for crisis support.

The SDLP MLA said: “I’m delighted that a new Mental Health Crisis Service has been announced to help tackle the North’s mental health crisis. I am glad that work has begun on the commitments from the long-overdue Mental Health Action Plan.

Dolores Kelly.

“This service will make a real difference to people here suffering from poor mental health. When in crisis, they will now have somewhere dedicated to turn, rather than being shuttled between different services as our overworked and underfunded health service decides the best way to treat them.

“No longer will people in the midst of a mental health crisis be asked to spend hours waiting in a hospital emergency department, they will now have specifically trained staff who can get them the care they need. This service will also help reduce the pressure on our existing health service who are often ill equipped, through no fault of their own, to dealing with people in a mental health crisis.

“In addition, it will help our existing mental health services which are dealing with unprecedented demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Working with SDLP colleagues I have long campaigned for a dedicated service for people in crisis and it is heartening that we are beginning to make much needed progress.

“All too often we have heard tragic stories about patients who felt they had nowhere to term and this new service should also help tackle issues around suicide prevention.

“ While the Minister’s plan is admirable, we need to ensure it is properly resourced and seen through to completion. I will be keenly following work on the implementation plan for this new service and look forward to seeing these plans becoming a reality.”



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