Armitage: We need to break the taboo around mental health

Alliance Councillor David Armitage has backed Belfast City Council plans to establish a forum aimed at addressing the critical issues of mental health and drug and alcohol addiction support services.

Speaking at the latest Belfast City Council meeting on Tuesday night, Councillor Armitage said it was an important discussion to be had, as mental health issues can affect all demographics.

“Many of Council will know about my mental health struggles. And so, I understand how mental illness not just effects myself; but my work life, family life and life generally.

“From primary school children, to pensioners and as a legacy of the troubles, mental health issues can affect so many different people and while there are many worthwhile groups doing excellent work, it is also the third motion of similar effect in recent years. This signals something must be done.

“We need to break the taboo around mental health and we need to see action to ensure protocols are put in place to help those affected. From re-establishing a mental health champion in Northern Ireland, to giving serious thought to a zero-suicide policy, we must not brush these issues aside.

“Good planning can create good communities and I will continue to work towards putting compassion at the heart of Belfast, with provision for needs built in.”

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