Draft DoH Mental Health Strategy 2021-2031 - Public Consultation

Closes 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 and impact assessment screenings, via the following link: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/mentalhealthstrategy.

Easy Read and Children and Young People friendly versions of the draft Strategy will also be made available in January 2021.

UPDATE:  On 18 January the Department published a full Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) on the draft Strategy.  This is being consulted on as part of this public consultation and can now also be accessed on the Department's website.  To allow for the full 12 week consultation period required, responses relating to the EQIA will be accepted after the close of the main consultation, but must be received by 5pm on Monday 12 April 2021.

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Why we are consulting

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. 

Give us your views


  • General Public


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