On Monday 4th January 2021 the following motion was passed by the Northern Ireland CLP Executive Committee;
This CLP notes:
- Northern Ireland has one of the highest sucide rates in the world & and nearly twice the average sucide rate of England.(1)
- 1 in 5 Adults in NI have a diagnosable mental health disorder, with a 20% higher chance of having a mental disorder than the rest of the UK. (2)
- Northern Ireland has one of the highest rates of anti-depression subscriptions in the UK UK
- More people have died from sucide since 1998 than all those who have died during the 30+ years of the Troubles. (3)
- Mental health funding is currently in a crisis from Tory imposed DUP/SF cuts to funding. (4)
- A study by Queens & Ulster university has highlighted the possibility of trans-generational PTSD related mental health issues being passed on throughout our society from parent to child (5) (6)
- Brexit has added to the compounding anxiety and mental health crises related to national identity. (7)
This CLP believes:
- The effects of the Troubles and the extensive violence experienced by the population in NI has resulted in deep seated societal issues in relation to the mental health of those directly involved in the conflict and those living in a post-conflict society.
- The shifting and unstable national identity of those living in the North of Ireland has greatly affected the mental health of young people experiencing a statehood that they cannot call home but also cannot fully abandon, something that was further exacerbated due to Brexit.
- Due to the sectarian and divisive nature of Stormont, this crisis has been ignored or used as a political football between parties for years. These issues are, sadly, commonly resolved only though outside intervention and financial guarantees.
- That this CLP has the responsibility to engage with the Labour party to work towards resolving this issue through the trade union movement and through the process of political engagement as both the current leader of the opposition and potentially the future leadership of the British Government.
- The Labour party has a responsibility to people of Northern Ireland and Irish diaspora of Great Britain to work towards bettering the lives of those affected in Northern Ireland outside of the exclusive political structures of Westminsiter and should work with those in power in the North & South of Ireland to bring about positive change given these dire circumstances
This CLP resolves:
- To declare a mental health crisis emergency for the North of Ireland.
- To lobby the Labour party to guarantee the financial stability and political will needed to tackle this issue should the Labour party win the next general election through a pledge to fund health care at a truly universal level with access to all those who need it.
- To guide the Labour party’s work on resolving the issues of mental health not only at a healthcare level but through acknowledging the need for better housing, more job security,the reinforcement of civil rights, progressive drug & alcohol policies and the need to properly engage with those feeling the brunt of this crisis; Ireland’s youth.
- To actively engage in the parties within Stormont to treat this crisis as the emergency it is and ask they dedicate more funding and attention to this issue through the re-formation and rejuvenation of the All Party Group on mental health.
- To also work on bridging the gap between those in power in the Dáil, Stormont and Westminsiter to tackle this issue on a west/east & north/south issue that has caused hurt across borders and across communities.