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25% of adults 'will suffer mental health problem'

Published 02/11/2015

Simon Hamilton said he wanted Northern Ireland to set an example in quality of care
Simon Hamilton said he wanted Northern Ireland to set an example in quality of care

A quarter of adults in Northern Ireland will suffer from a mental health problem at some stage in their lives, the health minister said.

The country has higher levels of mental ill health than any other part of the UK despite significant reform in recent years.

Minister Simon Hamilton said he wanted Northern Ireland to set an example in quality of care.

"Just as the Royal Victoria Hospital is world-class in dealing with physical trauma, I hope we can agree that a mental trauma service would be a fitting legacy to those who suffer as a result of the Troubles."

The Bamford review in 2008 launched some of the most significant changes ever seen in mental health services.

Mr Hamilton said the focus in the last number of years has been on early intervention, home treatment services and the development of psychological therapy services.

In September the minister announced that he had asked officials to create an innovative service which will meet the needs of those suffering from mental trauma.

The minister said: "The service would 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, and would be based on the authoritative and internationally-recognised Stepped Care model, which focuses on the recovery of the individual from psychological trauma.

"This model recognises that for people to recover, they may often need a combination of evidence-based social, family, psychological and psychiatric interventions: in short, a collaborative partnership across community, voluntary and statutory services."

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