Morning, Thursday, 14th December 2023
This conference will discuss next steps for mental health services in Northern Ireland.
It will be an opportunity for discussion on:
- the progress of the Mental Health Strategy 2021-2031
- the recently published Delivery Plan for 2023/2024
- the Mental Health Services in Northern Ireland report from the NI Audit Office, which indicated:
- the highest prevalence of mental ill-health in the UK
- the lowest level of funding, and with demand for services rising
Sessions in the agenda will assess the way forward for improving mental health services, looking at key areas for development, including enhancing mental health data and provision of community services, improving crisis and addiction services, and addressing waiting times to enable access to services.
We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Peter May, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health; Professor Siobhan O’Neill, Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland; Professor of Mental Health Sciences, Ulster University; and Matthew Taylor, ‘Co-Founder of UK’s first youth-led mental health charity’.
Overall, areas for discussion include:
- accessibility: addressing high waiting times for services - streamlining funding where it is most needed - developing infrastructure to enable service improvement
- key workforce concerns: addressing issues within the psychiatry and psychotherapy disciplines - addressing key barriers to recruitment and retention - providing adequate workplace support
- suicide prevention and crisis services: looking beyond the Protect Life 2 strategy - assessing priorities for crisis services beyond 2024
- moving towards prevention: priorities for an early intervention model - promoting help-seeking behaviour - improving advocacy and dialogue
- improving mental health data: improving data collection and utilisation to enhance service provision - considering the potential of an electronic patient records system
- CAMHS: developing in-school services - priorities for SEN students - improving access - developing efficient pathways to adult services
- community-based services: enhancing community cohesion and wellbeing - mental health education and awareness - moving care outside of clinical settings
- legacy issues: strategies for understanding and addressing the impact of the Troubles, COVID-19 and wider generational trauma on mental health in NI - increasing awareness and support
- student mental health: improving mental health support for higher education students - assessing the findings of the Higher Education Mental Health Implementation TaskForce
The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from the Department for the Economy; Department of Education; DHSC; DoH; DOJ; and the Welsh Government.