Health Ministers mark World Mental Health Day

Ministers for Health Simon Harris, Jim Daly and Catherine Byrne marked World Mental Health Day yesterday (Wednesday).

This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day was “young people and mental health in a changing world”, with a focus on raising awareness among adolescents and young adults of ways to look after their mental health.

Budget 2019 allocated significant additional resources to mental health services, bringing the total allocation to almost €1 billion.

Minister Harris said: “The Government has a role to play in improving and developing our mental health services and yesterday’s budget was very much about that – allocating almost €1 billion to mental health services for 2019. But we all have a role as citizens in terms of promoting positive mental health and resilience. Let’s take the opportunity this week to renew our efforts in this regard.”

Minister for Mental Health Daly said: “Meeting our young people where they are is vitally important, and so this week I have announced a number of new initiatives around the use of e-mental health and digital technologies, including a number of pilot programmes for tele-counselling; a dedicated mental health telephone number and crisis text service. I have also confirmed new funding for community led youth mental health initiatives and I hope that this new investment will continue to build mental mental resilience for young people in Ireland.

“I would encourage people to visit the new website, which provides a significantly improved experience for those seeking mental health information, supports and services. People can now find personalised support options through a search tool that generates information on online resources, telephone and face-to-face services relevant to a wide range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and stress.”

Minister Byrne said: “World Mental Health Day 2018 focuses on young people and is an important reminder of the continued need to support our children and young adults in dealing with the challenges they face on a daily basis. On 1st October I launched the revised MindOut programme for schools and the youth sector with the Minister for Education and the HSE. This is a positive mental health initiative, developed to help young people to improve their social and emotional wellbeing. A healthy Ireland is one where everyone can enjoy good physical and mental health. That is why it is so important to take time to have that conversation, to help our young people cope in difficult situations, and encourage them to think well and be well.”

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