Mental health was on the political agenda at Stormont on 8th October at an event sponsored by the Speaker Mr William Hay MLA.
To mark the end of our time as the NI Assembly Commission’s Charity of the Year, and as part of our week of events for World Mental Health Day, Action Mental Health held a special “Statements in the Senate” event where representatives of four Stormont Committees, as well as other MLAs, heard testimony from people who have used the service.
Clients of AMH’s New Horizons services from across Northern Ireland spoke on four key areas including the journey from well to unwell and back again, welfare reform, gaps in mental health services and the importance of placements for those seeking to regain employment.
AMH’s staff also spoke about the importance of reducing stigma and AMH’s work in prisons and the issue of mental health in the justice system. Martin Moorcroft from Barnardo’s NI also joined us as an employer to highlight the vital role of our volunteers in delivering their services.
MLAs Michael Copeland, Maeve McLaughlin, Tom Buchanan and Paul Givan responded on behalf of the Social Development, Health, Employment and Learning and Justice Committees respectively, agreeing to take the issues raised back to the other members of the Committees.
We would like to commend the clients who took part for the courage and eloquence with which they shared their experiences and for the support of the MLAs and wider Stormont staff throughout our time as Charity of the Year.