In June 2021 the new 10 year Mental Health Strategy for Northern Ireland was published.
It is very encouraging that this ambitious plan aims to get people affected by eating disorders the treatment they need as quickly as possible. There are also plans to ensure that the health and social care workforce supporting patients with an eating disorder have the right skills to do so, across community mental health teams, intensive day treatment facilities and medical and mental health wards.
However, this will only happen if the Mental Health Strategy, including the relevant sections on eating disorders secures the full amount of funding from the Northern Ireland Executive.
It is very promising that health has been identified as a top priority, but this is yet to be firmly decided.
Right now, our MLAs and the Executive are considering Northern Ireland’s health budget for the next three years.
We need your help to let them know how crucial granting full funding for the Mental Health Strategy will be for those affected by eating disorders in Northern Ireland.
The draft budget is open to public consultation and the Executive is encouraging the people of Northern Ireland to make their views heard before Monday 7th March 2022.
You don’t have to complete all sections of the online questionnaire, but it would be great if you could add your comments to two questions in particular:
· Do you think we have the right balance between health and other priorities?
· Do you agree with the proposal to direct 2% from other departments to health?
The devolved government institutions of Northern Ireland are the Assembly and the Executive. The Executive is the devolved Government of Northern Ireland, which runs Northern Ireland on a day to basis.
The Executive is made up of Ministers, who are MLAs appointed by the Assembly to run the nine Government Departments. It is led by the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are elected by, and represent the people of, Northern Ireland. MLAs make up the Assembly, which passes laws and examines policy on matters including health and education. They scrutinise the work of Ministers and hold Executive (Government) Departments to account. There are 5 MLAs in each constituency.
This strategy will set the future direction of mental health services in Northern Ireland, including eating disorders, for the next decade. We are calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to fund this in full. Mental Health Strategy 2021-2031 | Department of Health (health-ni.gov.uk)