New ‘Action Plan’ launched for NI child and adolescent mental health services

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has today published a draft Action Plan for mental health services and support for children and young people.

The plan is in response to recommendations contained in a report by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY). The ‘Still Waiting’ report on mental health services and support for children and young people made 50 recommendations covering a range of aspects of care and support.

Richard Pengelly (pictured, left) Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health said: “The draft plan published today contains a series of actions to enhance mental health services and support for children and young people including flexible treatment options, support for adults working with children and young people and moving from child to adult services. We in government take children and young people’s mental health seriously and are committed to working together to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in Northern Ireland.”

Following publication of the ‘Still Waiting’ report, the Department of Health set up an Inter-Departmental Project Board with representation across government to consider the recommendations in the report and take forward an action plan to deliver on those.

The draft plan contains a series of actions to improve services and the way in which children, young people and families can access those services. Whilst some of the actions may require ministerial decisions, there is much that can and has already been done.

Concluding, Mr Pengelly said: “Publishing the action plan provides the impetus and focus to improving mental health services and support for children and young people. We will continue to work across government to improve services, providing specialist support and improved mental health awareness and understanding.”

A copy of the action plan can be found: www.health-ni.gov.uk/stillwaitingreport-response

Picture (c) Michael Cooper.

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