Mental Health Review – Still Waiting

Scroll down to find out more about our Still Waiting review of mental health.

Still Waiting Reports - Cover

‘Still Waiting’ is the culmination of a Rights Based Review of Mental Health Services and Support for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of children and young people’s experiences and pathways to accessing mental health services or support. It looks at a broad range of services that young people may have accessed and considers these against a range of rights based standards. The report also examines service activity and budgeting data relating to mental health services in Northern Ireland and sets out a range of recommendations for improving services that are grounded in the evidence collected.
There are 50 recommendations included in the report, which covers a range of aspects of mental health services and support.

The overarching finding from the Review is the need for a system wide response to the challenges outlined.

All agencies and sectors must work together, taking collective responsibility for taking the recommendations forward. For this reason in most cases, the report has not specified any one agency or department against individual recommendations. The recommendations cover a range of  areas that include a focus on building mental health awareness and understanding, making it easier for young people to get the right help when and where they need it, supporting adults working with children and young people, and supporting young people with additional needs.


You can view NICCY’s Still Waiting reports below:

Implementation and Monitoring

NICCY is committed to monitoring the implementation of the recommendations in the ‘Still Waiting’ review and to engage with all relevant agencies to ensure improved outcomes for children and young people. 

Still Waiting Implementation Structures

The Department for Health on behalf of the Inter-Departmental Group (consisting of representatives for the Department for Education, Justice and Communities along with the Voluntary and Community Sector) published an action plan for delivering on the Still Waiting Report recommendations in October 2019 (the Still Waiting Action Plan).

NICCY Monitoring Process

NICCY committed to publishing 4 monitoring reports between 2020 and 2023. These will be published in February of each year to coincide with Child Mental Health Week.

The monitoring reports will be an assessment of the progress made to implement recommendations made in the Still Waiting Review. This assessment will include a review of the Inter-Departmental Group annual progress update report on implementation of the Still Waiting Action Plan, along with an analysis of service activity data and views from key stakeholders. 

Latest Monitoring Report

NICCY concluded its fourth round of monitoring (9 February 2023). This included:

You can find previous progress update reports from the link below:

Report Launch

The report was launched on 27th September 2018 at St Mary’s University College, Belfast.

Background Information

There are a number of reports that NICCY has produced that provide more background information on the Review, they are listed below.  

Speak Your Mind Campaign

  • Children and young people’s experiences of mental health services and support formed a central part of the Review.
  • The Speak Your Mind recruitment campaign was developed to hear their views – you can find out more here


We produced an infographic as part of the main Still Waiting report:

More info

If you have any questions you can contact the Lead Researcher- Christine Irvine at or on 028 9031 6384.