About

Mental illness in Northern Ireland

  • One in five adults in Northern Ireland will show signs of a mental illness
  • When matched to 17 other countries, NI had the 2nd highest rates of mental ill-health
  • Prevalence of mental illness in Northern Ireland is 25% higher than in England

 

Founded in 1963, Action Mental Health (AMH) is a local charity which works to enhance the quality of life and the employability of people with mental health needs or a learning disability in Northern Ireland.

From humble beginnings in Downpatrick as ITO (the Industrial Training Organisation), AMH has grown to deliver services and projects across the country for all members of our communities. Our health promotion work takes place in schools, cross-border counties and with local employers. Our employment services assist people to remain in work as well as providing skills and sourcing opportunities for those who want to re-enter the workforce. We have specific projects for young people, older people, people living with alcohol abuse, employees, employers, people managing long-term conditions, partnership work with other mental health and disability charities as well as working within our prisons.

We provide our clients with many opportunities, encouraging them to adopt healthier lifestyles and to widen their social networks. We also provide them with the skills to build a better future, set personal goals, develop coping skills, re-engage with society and become more employable.

 

Employment and mental health statistics:

  • Almost 50% of long-term absences from work are due to mental health issues
  • Our “Pay Pennies Rebuild Lives” research (2012) showed that investment in programmes, such as our New Horizons service, could help address as much as £50 million of the cost of mental health problems in Northern Ireland annually
  • Engagement in the programme also contributed over £450,000 to the economy through employment and tax revenue