PPR and the #123GP campaign will be hosting a special Mental Health Congress to mark World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October 2019.

The highlight of the event will be a keynote address by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Dainius Púras. 


"We need little short of a revolution in mental health”  UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Health Professor Dainius Púras

There is an escalating mental health crisis in Northern Ireland.  

We have the highest rates of suicide and of mental illness across the UK and Ireland. 

More people in NI have taken their own lives since the signing of the peace agreement in 1998 than were killed as a result of the conflict between 1969 and 1997.

The legacy of the conflict and high levels of poverty and marginalisation are recognised as significant contributory factors, with NI having one of the highest rates of PTSD world-wide.

Yet in the face of this crisis the consistent response from government can be characterised as a mixture of inertia and complacency.

At 5.2% of the health budget, funding for mental health in NI lags far behind that of other UK jurisdictions and is below the global average.

An abundance of evidence based research, coupled with numerous reviews, is having little impact.

Mental Health Rights campaigners lobbying for small scale changes, such as the #123GP campaign for improved access to counselling in primary care, are met with indifference by those in power.

The recently released ‘Protect Life 2’ Suicide Prevention Strategy does not go anywhere near far enough in terms of ambition or resourcing when measured against the scale of the problem.

In the words of the UN Special Rapporteur ‘the status quo is simply unacceptable’.

This event will bring together people directly affected by this crisis, activists, concerned practitioners and service providers, academics and others to discuss these issues with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and together to harness their combined influence and power to press for urgent action by the Department of Health and health agencies.

The event will take place from 11am-4pm (registration at 10.30am) on Thursday 10 October at the Spectrum Centre, Shankhill Road, Belfast BT13 3AB.

Lunch will be provided.

Please note this event is not open to representatives of public authorities or political parties. A roundtable is being held on Friday 11 October to include this audience (invitations will issued separately).

Please book here or RSVP to or 90 313315 by Friday 27 September.