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Charity urges May to act over mental health issue

By Adrian Rutherford

The rate of mental illness is 25% higher in Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the UK, a charity has said.

Aware has welcomed a pledge from Prime Minister Theresa May to help more people with depression and reduce the number of suicides.

Mrs May vowed to tackle the stigma around mental health issues as part of her vision to address the "burning injustices" in society.

The Prime Minister pledged that she wanted society to view mental health problems with the same sympathy and understanding as physical conditions.

Ahead of a major speech on social reform today, Mrs May said she wanted to make sure people did not "shy away" from discussing the issue.

Siobhan Doherty from Aware urged the PM to acknowledge the mental health needs of Northern Ireland people in her speech.

"The prevalence of mental illness is 25% higher in Northern Ireland than any other region in the UK. Therefore it is vital that this is recognised during the Prime Minister's speech and that she clearly outlines her commitment to helping people with depression in Northern Ireland."

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