‘Greater focus on mental health issues needed’ – McNulty
SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty, who sits on the All Party Group for Suicide Prevention, has said Michelle O’Neill needs to direct real and meaningful resources into mental health services, especially for young people.
Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty said, “In recent weeks I have been contacted by a number of people about mental health services locally and was shocked to learn of the huge gap in services available for young people in particular.
“Those who contacted me told of their genuine struggles to cope and the real need for designated services for young people, both in hospital, and in the community.
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“Many of our young people feel under serious pressures to conform, be that with educational achievement, in their careers, with their sexuality or with peer pressure around alcohol or drugs,” he insisted.
“I’ve met with groups of young people in recent days who pleaded for action from Stormont and I pledged I would do all I could to make significant progress in the time ahead.
“We need to develop services which are accessible to all. We need to work with schools and colleges as well as churches, and sports and community organisations.
Many groups are doing great work; however, they need increased and sustainable support so that they can be there for our young people at times of need.
The local MLA added, “We need to see a wraparound service developed that is holistic in nature and in practice. One life lost is one too many. If we can do anything to save even one life, surely it would be worth it.”
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