Disability Awareness Group Discuss Mental Health and Wellbeing Services


MEMBERS of Down District Council’s Disability Awareness Working Group at its meeting on Thursday (6 December 2012), received a presentation from NIAMH, Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health, which is the largest and longest established independent charity focusing on mental health and well-being services in Northern Ireland.

From left, Councillors Terry Andrews, Billy Walker, Carmel O’€™Boyle, Dessie Patterson, Iris Elliott from Niamh Mental Wellbeing and Councillor Patsy Toman at the Down District Disability DForum meeting in the new Downpatrick Civic Centre.

Members heard how NIAMH is structured as a group consisting of three elements, Compass, Beacon and Carecall with Beacon providing support services to people experiencing mental illness through supported housing, day support and advocacy services; Carecall providing therapeutic support through employee assistance programmes, and Compass undertaking innovative research in topics such as suicide, mental health service evaluation and mental health needs assessment.

Councillor Carmel O’Boyle, Chairperson of the group, thanked Iris Elliott, NIAMH’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, for a very informative presentation and said: “There is a growing need for the continued development and delivery of these services to our communities and it is encouraging to hear of the work being carried out by charities such as Niamh especially in challenging the stigma against people who experience mental ill-health.”

Councillor Terry Andrews, Vice Chairman of the group said: “Unfortunately there is an ongoing increasing demand for these types of services and with many people requiring help. In a time of continued reductions in health and well-being services there is a need to provide support to Niamh and the good work that they do.”


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