NI mental health spending quarter lower than recommended: charity

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Roughly 25 per cent less was spent on mental health services in the Province than had been advised, a charity says.

Action Mental Health said that between 2008 and 2014, spending on mental health by Northern Ireland’s health trusts was about a quarter lower than the Department of Health had recommended over that period.

The figure is just one of the findings in a report which it has produced with the help of Queen’s University Belfast, and which took 18 months to complete.

The report, called ‘Regress? React? Resolve?’, also says mental health spending declined each year since 2009.

The charity, which said that mental health problems are 25 per cent more prevalent in Northern Ireland than in England, made a string of recommendations in the report.

Among them is that the role of an “independent mental health champion” should be created to defend the rights of mental illness sufferers.