Minister of Health publishes new 10 year Mental Health Strategy

Health Minister Robin Swann has launched the new Mental Health Strategy 2021 – 2031 setting the strategic direction for mental health in Northern Ireland for the next decade. 

Reacting to the publication of the Mental Health Strategy 2021-2031, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy NI, Gerard Greene said:

“It is hugely welcome to see recognition of the role of community pharmacy in the new Mental Health Strategy which will see a real step-change in how we deal with the mental health crisis in Northern Ireland. Working in primary care, community pharmacists provide critical support to patients in an accessible, convenient location, while also being acutely aware of their patients’ mental health and wellbeing due to the close professional bond they share with them.

The role of community pharmacists goes beyond the dispensing of medications with pharmacists also seen as trusted healthcare professional by patients on a number of issues including concerns around mental ill-health, this has been particularly evident during the pandemic. This support provided by community pharmacists ensures that patients feel safe and willing to open up and talk about any concerns which is an important step in the promotion of good mental health.

“Moving forward, and as the strategy is implemented, we are keen to see the investment and support needed for mental health services to be deployed in community pharmacies so we can continue to support patients. Community pharmacists are best placed to provide this care and we look forward to working with the Department of Health and the wider health and voluntary services in delivering greater mental health support in our local communities.”

Click here to read the Strategy

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