Mental Health Policy Forum - February Meeting Minutes

The first substantive meeting of the Mental Health Policy Forum took place on 5th of February discussing the 'Enabling Success' strategy to tackle economic inactivity which was consulted on by the Department for Employment and Learning.

Mental Health Policy Forum

5th February 2014 - NICVA

PRESENT:  Siobhan Doherty, Aware Defeat Depression (Chair); Chris Ledger, Arts and Disability Forum; David Babbington, Action Mental Health; Grainne Woods, Kids in Control; Jenna Maghie, NICVA; Lisa McElherron, NICVA; Katherine McDonald, NIAMH; Mairaid McMahon, NIACRO; Michael Bower, Law Centre; Natalie Whelehan, Children’s Law Centre; Orla Major, Prince’s Trust; Paul Millar, Hanwood Trust Company Limited; Paul Noonan, Equality Commission; Paula Beattie, Contact NI

APOLOGIES: Phyllis Graham, NI Inter-faith Forum; Cara McCann, HEReNI; Colin Harper, Law Centre NI; Conal McAlorum, Opportunity Youth; Edward Gorringe, Mindwise; Eithne Gilligan, VOYPIC; Gavin O’Connor, Arts Council; Glenda Davies, Sandy Row Community Forum, Iris Elliott, NIAMH; Kevin Bailey, Upper Springfield Development Trust; Michael Kelly, Rural Development Council; Sam Murphy, FASA



Siobhan Doherty welcomed everyone to the Forum


Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference as circulated were accepted by the group


DEL Presentation on “Enabling Success”

Jim Russell from the Department for Employment and Learning’s Employment Service presented on the Strategy and answered questions from the group with Mark O’Hara the Department’s Senior Occupational Psychologist.

Suggestion that groups share their responses to the consultation with the Forum so key points can be made across all responses.

Consultation closes 17th April 2014     

Action - Share responses to ‘Enabling Success’ with Jenna to circulate to the group


Presentation on Mental Health in the Workplace

Katherine McDonald, Director of Carecall delivered a presentation to the group and answered questions on mental health in the workplace



Natalie Whelehan from Children’s Law Centre gave a presentation on participation in making a shadow report to UNCRC, giving insight into the work that would go into a report to UNCRPD.

A brief on UNCRPD from Iris Elliott was circulated to the group for consideration. Siobhan recommended thoughts/feedback should be given directly to Iris.

Rapporteur visiting UK in April. 

Action - Feedback on UNCRPD Report to be sent to Iris directly



Lisa McElherron raised the Knowledge Exchange Web Portal with the group and circulated a flyer with further details.

Action - Agreed that the next meeting of the Forum would include a demonstration and chance to get further information on the Portal.

Natalie Whelehan raised consultations on:

the Mental Capacity Bill (Draft civil Bill provisions),

the Justice consultation on its policy proposals and

consultation on the retention of the Mental health (NI) Order 1986 for children under 16

Which are all due for publication in March 2014

Agreed that these could form the agenda for the next meeting of the Forum      

Action - Secretariat to arrange.


Date of next meeting        


Action - Chairs/Secretariat to advise members of next meeting

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