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Mental health and wellbeing strategy to be rolled out by MEA Council

The Local Government Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy was launched by Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy (second from right) at The Braid in Ballymena last month

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has given its backing for a major new Regional Mental Health Wellbeing Strategy to be rolled out amongst its workforce.

The Local Government Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy was launched last month by Council Chief Executive, Anne Donaghy, and recognises that staff in the sector are its best asset by promoting positive approaches to good mental health in the workplace.

The document was endorsed by Northern Ireland’s Mental Health Champion, Professor Siobhan O’Neill, and by Dr Michael McBride, the Chief Medical Officer, upon its launch.

Anne Donaghy, who is also Chair of the SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) Local Government Health and Wellbeing Group, said:

“The impact of poor mental health has been well documented in Northern Ireland, and it is an issue which can affect anyone from any walk of life.

“The Covid-19 crisis has thrown mental health into the spotlight once again, as many thousands of people find themselves having to juggle the demands of working from home with trying to educate their children, all while facing the uncertainties and stresses that this pandemic has created for everyone.

“We want to be able to reinforce the key message of this strategy, which is ASK – and that simply means, staff know it is OK to Ask for help and feel Accepted; employees will have Support in getting that help; and managers will have the Knowledge they need to provide for their staff.”

Alderman Robin Cherry MBE, Chair of Council’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Group, added:

“I am pleased to see that this important strategy for the promotion of positive mental health has been endorsed by Council, who have already made good progress by introducing a number of initiatives to promote the health and wellbeing of our staff.

“We are indebted to all our staff across Council and will continue to build on that progress by developing further opportunities for employees to get access to help if they need it. We are living through challenging times but through initiatives like this we can emerge stronger and more resilient.”

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