‘Increase In Funding For Mental Health Is Good News’

February 08, 2008

Additional allocations of almost £80m for Mental Health And Learning Disability over the next three years will lead to a significant improvement to numbers of community-based staff, and increased respite care to support carers and families.

Speaking during the announcement of the budget, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said:

“The final budget allocation is a good news story for the health service. It is good news for patients, clients, carers and staff. … and I want to thank everyone who supported me in my fight for the funds needed to bring essential improvements to the Health Service in Northern Ireland. The funding I have received will allow me to make real progress with the Bamford recommendations. This will make a real and lasting difference to patients, carers and families in an area which has too long been neglected and underfunded.”

Announcing the budget, Minister for Finance and Personnel Peter Robinson MP MLA said

“Mental Health services, and those for people with a Learning Disability, were raised as matters of concern. These concerns were raised by relatives of those with mental health problems … as well as professionals working in the field”.

Responding to the budget, CAUSE Chief Executive Marie Crossin said:

“This increase in funding for mental health is good news. The investment will help to bring our services to the same standards as those enjoyed by the rest of the UK. Peter Robinson’s comments about the relatives of those with mental health problems raising their concerns in the consultation indicates that our postcard campaign had an effect. Here in the CAUSE office we received 364 postcards, mainly from carers and families but also from service users and mental health professionals, which we then posted to Stormont. We know that many more were posted directly to Stormont. There were 1,000 responses in total from the public to the consultation on the issues of mental health, so our carers’ contributions were a significant part of that. I would like to thank every one of our carers and supporters who responded”.