13 Nov 2008

NORTHERN Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, today welcomed ministerial commitment to adolescent mental health services.

Speaking as the Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey, cut the first sod for the new Mental Health Facility for Adolescents, Children and their Families, Ms Lewsley said this was a long overdue development.

“I am very pleased that work is now beginning to develop this service at Forster Green Hospital,” said the Commissioner. “For too long child and adolescent mental health services have been the Cinderella.

“It is clearly wrong that children and young people with mental health problems are treated on adult wards and I hope this development will be the beginning of the end of such practice.

“I hope, however, that this will also be a signal that Government will invest in the entire range of much needed child and adolescent mental health services, not only in hospitals but in the community.”