Draft DoH Mental Health Strategy 2021-2031 - Public Consultation

Closed 26 Mar 2021

Opened 21 Dec 2020


The Department of Health has co-produced a draft ten year Mental Health Strategy designed to improve mental health outcomes for people in Northern Ireland.

Recent strategic direction for mental health in Northern Ireland has been reliant on the Bamford Review which published its reports between 2005 and 2007.  The Review and its subsequent action plans were widely accepted to be a catalyst for the development of improved mental health and learning disability services in Northern Ireland, albeit with the recognition that some needs and gaps within services remained. It is now essential that the good work undertaken by statutory Health and Social Care organisations, independent contractors and the voluntary and community sector to progress the Bamford recommendations is consolidated and built upon.

The co-produced Mental Health Action Plan published on 19 May 2020 by the Health Minister, Robin Swann MLA, set out a number of short term service improvements, but also laid the foundations for longer term strategic change.  The first action set out in the Action Plan is to ‘co-produce a sustainable mental health strategy based on the needs of people, created through cross Departmental, cross sectoral and multidisciplinary co-production’. 

This draft Strategy has been co-produced together with a broad range of stakeholders, including people with lived experience, carers, the interim Mental Health Champion, health and social care professionals, academics, the voluntary and community sector, and professional bodies.

The draft Strategy is available below for your convenience.  It is also available on the Department of Health website, along with supporting documentation including a background consultation document, Easy Read and Children and Young People friendly versions of the draft Strategy, as well as impact assessment screenings, via the following link: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/mentalhealthstrategy.

EQIA:  On 18 January 2021 the Department published a full Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) on the draft Strategy, which can be accessed on the Department's website.  The consultation on the Strategy's Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) remains open to allow for the full 12 week consultation period, but responses must be received by 5pm on Monday 12 April 2021.  To submit a response related to the EQIA, please email mentalhealthstrategy@health-ni.gov.uk.

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Why your views matter

The publication of a 10 year Mental Health Strategy is identified as an immediate priority of the Northern Ireland Executive in New Decade, New Approach (NDNA).

The draft Strategy sets out a new draft vision for mental health in Northern Ireland, as well as 29 high-level actions to take forward significant strategic change over the next decade. 

We would welcome your views on the draft Strategy to improve mental health outcomes in Northern Ireland. 

What happens next

Following the close of the consultation on 26 March 2021, all responses and feedback will be collated for review by the Department of Health, and a consultation report will be produced.  The consultation report will be published alongside the final Strategy and Funding Plan.


  • General Public


  • Health and social care policy
  • Provision of health and social care services
  • Improvement of health and social care services