An online petition has been launched to try and improve how mental health is treated in Londonderry.
The petition is called ‘Demand Better Mental Health Care Derry/Londonderry NOW’ and was launched on thepetitionsite.com
It is hoped the petition will catch the attention of elected representatives in Stormont.
Set-up by a woman called Patricia, the petition is but the latest attempt by local people to try and improve mental health services in the city.
“We suggest that the budget for mental health be massively increased to reduce the deaths caused by suicide and also offer services around mental health and suicide,” the petition reads.
“We suggest also a drop in centre run by the people for the people.
“A place where someone will be able to come to for comfort and advice and not have to rely on a faulty system to get immediate help, to which we know is failing on a grand scale. This proposal is for all parts of Derry/Londonderry.”
John (not his real name), was one of the first to sign the petition.
John is from Londonderry and was diagnosed with depression more than five years ago.
“I’m speaking from experience - there’s a serious lack of support out there for people with mental health,” said John.
“I, like many others, am trying my best to hold down a full-time job so that I can take care of my family - this means I work Monday to Friday.
“I have tried to seek out help and support in the past but because of a lack of funding many of the services are not available at evenings or weekends when I am free.”
John said he has improved but believes his recovery would have happened faster had he been able to access support services at the weekends.
“I am much better than I used to be but you never know when depression can hit you next.
“I signed the petition because I want to see a real improvement in mental health treatment in Derry.
“I firmly believe that had I been able to avail of such services outside of working hours I would have recovered much quicker.”
To add your signature to the petition go to Demand Better Mental Health Care Derry/Londonderry.