Press Release

Minister O´Malley launches “Promoting Mental Health & Social Well-being : Cross-border Opportunities and Challenges”

Mr. Tim O´Malley TD., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, (6th November 2002) launched the report “Promoting Mental Health & Social Well-being: Cross-border opportunities and challenges” today in Dublin. The report emanates from the Centre for Cross-Border studies and is the culmination of research carried out by a team, led by Dr. Margaret Barry, in NUI Galway. Speaking at the launch, Minister O´Malley stated “There is increasing recognition, both nationally and internationally, of the need to address mental health as an integral part of improving overall health and well-being”. He acknowledged the potential of this report to assist in raising awareness of current North/South activities and for future co-operation and development in the field of mental health promotion.

The Centre for Cross Border Studies, base in Armagh and Dublin, was set up in September 1999 to research and develop co-operation across the Irish border in education, health and a range of other practical areas. It is a joint initiative by Queen´s University of Belfast, Dublin City University and the Workers´ Educational Association and has participated in many varied projects and research reports.

“Promoting Mental Health & Social Well-being” is based on two strands of work looking at cross-border collaborative mental health promotion practices and the compatibility and comparability of mental health and related data sources. The report identifies a number of key issues for consideration by policy makers, practitioners and researchers and highlights the need to reduce barriers to create effective models of cross border collaboration.

Minister O´Malley emphasised that this report establishes the strengths and weaknesses of existing data and therefore, from this base, opportunities for collaboration between partners north and south of the border and with colleagues in the UK and Europe can be explored. “By examining the mental health needs of the population both North and South future planning can take place in the area of mental health promotion”, he stated.