‘Mental health needs to be top of the agenda’ – McAteer

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2016
Community, Politics
Independent Newry City Councillor Kevin McAteer has called for mental health to be top of the agenda in the new mandate at Stormont.
Independent Newry Councillor Kevin McAteer

Independent Newry Councillor Kevin McAteer

Councillor McAteer, who lives with depression, said it is vitally important that we tackle this issue now. Speaking to Newry Times, the Independent Councillor stated, “Mental health awareness is vitally important and we need to address this issue sooner rather than later. “The services in the north of Ireland are extremely poor and mental health charities are being stretched thin, with this only deemed to get worse when the fresh start austerity deal kicks in.” Mcateer reiterated how important it is that we respect those who are suffering from mental health issues. “Mental health awareness is no joke, we need to respect and support those who are suffering from mental health problems and respect their need to take time off work etc. “The number of people who suffer from mental health problems in the north is growing at an alarming rate and we need a health service that is going to make these people a priority.” McAteer’s comments comes after an expert panel in Northern Ireland declared that there is a serious lack of crisis facilities for mental health in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, it recommended significant changes to the way mental health services are organised, including the introduction of a maximum four-hour waiting time for admission to an acute psychiatric ward.
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July 2016McAteer added, “Figures have revealed one in every six people in Northern Ireland is battling depression. Almost 300,000 were prescribed anti-depressants last year – including more than 500 children under the age of 16. “The number of people reliant on medication has increased by nearly 10% in just two years. We need to tackle this issue now before these statistics increase further. People with mental health issues deserve a whole lot better than the services that they are currently getting.”
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