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Mental Health initiative must be matched by long term funding commitments

9 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has welcomed the launching of a new mental health initiative to meet the needs of young people but urged the NIO Minster to ensure that the initiative is matched with long term funding commitments.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Today's initiative is an important step in tackling the unacceptable levels of suicide affecting young people, particularly in young men where it is the second highest killer.

"This initiative must link in with the public health agenda in the 'Investing for Health' strategy that looks at promoting good health and well being by targeting action on areas such as unemployment, education and training and housing.

"It must also be matched by long term funding commitments particularly to build community based services and the wider mental health care sector." ENDS

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