£175,000 for setting up mental trauma service
A total of £175,000 has been invested to help set up a new mental trauma service for Northern Ireland.
Low-level help provided by voluntary and community organisations will be integrated with more intensive measures by qualified professionals under the auspices of a new regional specialist service, health minister Simon Hamilton said.
Mr Hamilton made the announcement at the opening of a mental health summit hosted by Action Mental Health.
He said: "To assist in getting our new mental trauma service off the ground I can confirm that I have invested £175,000 of funding for early set-up costs.
"I envisage that the service will allow for a range of interventions, meeting the spectrum of need across our community. It will involve leading edge, evidence-based treatments in line with NICE guidelines, with a focus on recovery of the individual.
"Mental health is an absolute priority for my department, and the publication of Action Mental Health's evaluation report in October acknowledges that there has been progress in realising the Bamford vision for improving mental health provision.
"However, we still face significant challenges."
Tony Blair's former head of communications, Alastair Campbell, will tell the Belfast mental health conference that Northern Ireland has been let down by failure to tackle the mental trauma of the Troubles.
The rate of illness is a quarter higher following decades of violence but the level of investment a quarter lower than in other parts of the UK, the former Labour government director will say. A quarter of adults will suffer from a problem at some stage in their lives.
Mr Campbell was part of the British government which helped engineer the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.