Alliance welcomes Single Mental Health Bill

Alliance Party Health Spokesperson, Kieran McCarthy MLA, has given a strong welcome to the decision of the Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey, to endorse a single piece of legislation dealing with mental health and mental capacity rather than two separate pieces of legislation which had originally been proposed by the Department of Health.

Kieran McCarthy stated: “This revised approach from the Minister to mental health legislation should be warmly welcomed. It is something that the Alliance Party has strongly advocated, and emphasised in our response to the Department’s consultation. It reflects the overwhelming opinion of bodies such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Mental Health Alliance..

“Two separate pieces of legislation would have posed problems for both people with mental health problems and practitioners, particularly at the interface. A single bill provides a much more seamless and continuous service and reduces risks of confusion. It also helps avoid stigma for those with mental health issues. Northern Ireland now has the opportunity to be a world leader in mental health legislation.

“This announcement needs to be followed up with a further demonstration that the forthcoming legislation will reflect the full Bamford Review vision and recommendations and that funding of mental health will be a priority for the Department.”


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