Action Mental Health has been working with individuals with mental health needs for 50 years, and providing them with the support needed in their recovery. Health Minister, Edwin Poots has officially opened the AMH New Horizons service in Belfast City Centre’s Fisherwick Building.
Action Mental Health Chief executive David Babington said, “AMH New Horizons helps people to overcome the effects of mental ill health and in many cases return to work. We offer a range of recognised qualifications and provide training, personal development programmes and social and recreational activities. The Belfast service’s re-location from Duncrue Industrial Estate to the city centre, enables us to attract clients from all over Belfast, it also gives us the opportunity to promote AMH in a prime city centre location and already we have seen an increase in enquires. The new location has helped us to source more appropriate training placements and employment opportunities for our clients”.
Joanne Stroud, Service Manager, continued, “We currently have 100 clients registered and they are really enjoying being part of the Belfast “buzz”. In addition to all the courses, qualifications and placements on offer, our new location is also addressing the issue of social inclusion and independence; Clients are encouraged to visit the local cafes, shops and libraries and use the various modes of public transport nearby.”
The Minister met with staff and clients and was given a tour of the newly refurbished training facilities.
Speaking at the official opening, the Minister said: “This new facility with the latest equipment is a credit to AMH and its enthusiasm to make life better for those with mental health problems.
“Training for any individual seeking work is crucial and it is no less essential for people who have had mental health problems.
“The wide range of NVQ’s available in retail, business and administration, catering and customer services, along with other IT qualifications give clients the choice that best meets each of their requirements and interests, and this in turn will hopefully lead them to improved future employment prospects and build better futures for themselves and their families.”
Highlighting the role of volunteers, the Minister concluded: “I commend AMH for their appreciation of the valuable contribution volunteers make to the work of their organisation, which last year totalled almost 5,000 hours.”