Irish Medical Organisation

IMO and BMA Northern Ireland issue joint statement. - All-Ireland Conference on Mental Health and Addiction

Friday 21st November 2014. The Irish Medical Organisation and the BMA Northern Ireland have issued a joint statement at the conclusion of a special All Ireland Conference on Mental Health and Addiction. The conference took place today in Dublin. A full copy of the joint statement is available on request from the IMO or the BMA NI.

The joint statement warned of the impact which the recession was having on mental health issues and services across the island with increased demand for services coming at a time when resources for those services were being reduced.

The statement noted that in recent decades Mental Health Services in Ireland and Northern Ireland have undergone significant reform, moving from an out-dated institutional model of care to a model of community-based care, which is associated with better outcomes and improved quality of life for patients. However both organisations warned that the movement of mental health care into the community has been slow and chronically under-resourced and that recent public expenditure cuts in Ireland and Northern Ireland have had a further detrimental impact on the provision of community-based mental health services.

The two organisations called for increased resources to ensure parity of outcomes for both physical and mental health and steps to address the unmet needs in people who have mental health conditions and urged the the two Governments on the island to work cooperatively to reduce harm from addictions including, drugs alcohol and gambling misuse, on a cross-border basis were possible.

Dr Paul Darragh, speaking on behalf of the BMA said; "There are common issues surrounding mental health and addictions throughout the island of Ireland. I know that by working together, the BMA and the IMO will create a platform to raise awareness of the important issues of mental health and addiction."

Professor Trevor Duffy, President of the IMO said; “Today’s conference is about helping to give Mental Health and addiction the attention they deserve and sharing the experience of colleagues across the island. We need to work together to put these issues firmly on the agenda and this has been a very constructive contribution to this debate.”

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