New Derry and Strabane mental health figures demonstrate need for 'fully-funded support' - McLaughlin

Local SDLP MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has responded to new Census 2021 data released on Thursday, December 15 regarding the health of the population, saying the figures demonstrate the need for fully-funded mental health support in Derry
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The figures revealed that 10.89% of the population of Derry City and Strabane have an emotional psychological or mental health condition, compared to 8.68% of people overall in NI. Higher levels can only be found in Belfast, where 11.71% of people have an emotional, psychological or mental health condition.

Ms. McLaughlin said: “These figures make the case even more clear for a fully funded Mental Health Strategy and the urgency to deliver it even more pressing. For too long, mental health was considered the poor cousin of physical health in the way we talk about and treat health in our society. I am glad that over recent years that has begun to be addressed but we still have a long way to go to improve access to services and make sure that everyone struggling gets the help they need. This is especially true in Derry, where we need intervention to help the more than one in ten people here with an emotional, psychological or mental health condition.

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“I recently met with the Mental Health Champion here, Siobhán O’Neill, and discussed these issues in detail and I look forward to continuing that engagement with mental health experts and advocates. It is crystal clear that we need to see the funding and delivery of the Mental Health Strategy as a matter of urgency.”

SDLP MLA Sinéad McLaughlin.SDLP MLA Sinéad McLaughlin.
SDLP MLA Sinéad McLaughlin.

She added: “The reality is, however, that the boycott of power-sharing by the DUP will mean that the people of Derry will wait longer to see these services delivered and the real change in mental health provision that we need to see. It is yet another example of why we need a functioning government here.”