Action Mental Health

Action Mental Health (AMH) actively promotes the mental health and well-being of people in Northern Ireland. Action Mental Health grew from humble beginnings in Downpatrick in 1963 when it was known as the Industrial Therapy Organisation. Back then it was tucked away out of sight, in tune with the stigmas of the day. Today however, AMH has emerged as the standard bearer within Northern Ireland’s Third Sector – helping to smash the stigma of mental illness for all sections of the community.

Action Mental Health is multi-faceted, offering myriad services. Integral to the organisation is its nine New Horizons services, dotted across Northern Ireland – north, south, east and west, where clients benefit from a variety of personal development, vocational skills and employability training options including accredited qualifications and work placements. A variety of resilience-building techniques are also pivotal to our range of services delivered to school children and young people in further and higher education. Services provided also include a full range of therapeutic counselling for children, young people, adults, families. The charity also offers a whole gamut of services for young and old alike, designed to promote mental well-being for those in work and currently unemployed; those affected by chronic pain or debilitating long-term illnesses and people living with eating disorders.

Mental illness in Northern Ireland

  • One in five adults in Northern Ireland will show signs of a mental illness

(Northern Ireland Health Survey DHSSPS, 2015)

  • 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

(DHSSPS (2014). Making Life Better: A whole system strategic framework for public health 2013-2023)

Employment and mental health statistics:

  • Almost 50% of long-term absences from work are due to mental health issues  Office for National Statistics (ONS)
  • 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