Independent South Down assembly candidate Patrick Clarke has said the continuing erosion of essential front line health care services at the both Downe Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital must stop and that mental health provision must continue to be one of the top priorities for funding increases and resources within the health budget.
Independent South Down assembly candidate Patrick Clarke stated:
“One of my first priorities will be putting mental health high on the political agenda at Stormont.”
“Most recently there has been a dramatic increase in alcohol, drug and online gambling addictions in the north of Ireland most particularly during the COVID pandemic lockdowns.
Therefore, I will lobbying for increased resources and funding to help address these areas, as well as the full implementation of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy during the next term of the Northern Ireland Assembly.”
“I know at first hand that looking after your mental health and wellbeing is of paramount importance. As someone who has suffered in the past from clinical depression for a number of years I was very fortunate to avail of private medical treatment and counselling due to the protracted delay in the current health system and long waiting lists.”
“However not everyone is in a position to go private and therefore I will be seeking answers from both the Health Minister and the Southern Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and intend to hit the ground running at Stormont regarding the whole issue of mental health and wellbeing.
“Early diagnosis and intervention of mental health illness is absolutely critical particularly those people who are very vulnerable or and suicidal. These areas of mental health need to be urgently addressed by the Health Minister and SET. The long delays and waiting lists are simply unacceptable regarding mental health treatment.”