The upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election is a pivotal one. It takes place against a backdrop in which wellbeing, perhaps more than ever before, is a live public health concern, engaging citizens and their elected representatives alike.
This is why the election is so important. It is during the next Assembly mandate that the Northern Ireland Executive will effect a suite of vital reforms, from the Mental Health Strategy 2021-2031 to the much-needed Substance Use Strategy.
Delivering Wellbeing For All is Inspire’s manifesto for the 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election. The themes and quotes throughout have emerged from conversations with our service users and the colleagues who support them. The asks contained in our manifesto are an illustration of how wellbeing and positive mental health stem from a holistic approach to policy-making.
We have divided these recommendations into four categories: health, economy, society and environment. Inspire is, after all, a reflection of its people and while they are rightly concerned with policies around mental health, addiction and intellectual disability, the individuals we support are not defined by the conditions with which they live.
They are integral members of their communities and our society with families and jobs, hopes and dreams. From time to time, like anyone else, they require a safety net and they aspire to good health, a home and a future. This is what they want from the Northern Ireland Executive.
You can read Delivering Wellbeing For All by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
In addition, thanks to our active and politically engaged Service User Reference Forum, we’ve distilled the manifesto’s key issues into 10 questions for candidates, elected representatives and political parties. All are set out below. Keep an eye out for these on social media, along with our campaign hashtag, #WillYou22.
1. Will you commit to producing a three-year Budget as a matter of priority?
2. Will you commit to full implementation and funding of the 10-year mental health strategy?
3. How will you ensure that the voice of lived experience is valued by decision-makers and informs and shapes policy and practice across the region?
4. How will you ensure that people living with mental ill health are aware of their human rights and have these rights recognised and respected in decisions relating to their care and support?
5. How will you work to end stigma against people living with mental ill health, addictions and/or intellectual disability?
6. How will you ensure that mental health awareness is embedded across the public sector and will you commit to mental health awareness training for you, your staff and your party colleagues?
7. How will you tackle the cost-of-living crisis, which is affecting the wellbeing of people, families and communities across the region?
8. How will you ensure that the social security system is made fit for purpose for people living with mental ill health, addictions and/or intellectual disability?
9. How will you ensure that people living with mental ill health, addictions and/or intellectual disability have access to suitable support and housing, allowing them to live independently in communities of their choice?
10. Will you commit to ensuring that no child is left behind by our education system and that children are supported to thrive physically, emotionally and academically?