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The Belfast Mental Health Rights Group was one of the first groups PPR worked with, and have been together since 2006. Their members have personal or family experience of mental health issues and suicide/self harm. The group led a successful campaign for a ‘Card Before You Leave’ (CBYL) appointments system for mental health patients to ensure those in mental health crisis left Accident and Emergency Departments with a card  bearing the date of their next appointment. This change was put in place across Northern Ireland.

Since 2013, PPR’s work on mental health has grown across Northern Ireland, and we now also work with groups with direct experience of mental health services in Draperstown and Cookstown.

In October 2013, Belfast Mental Health Rights Group was awarded the Stephen Pittam Social Justice Award in recognition of their innovative and inspiring work. The award recognised the work of the group in mobilising others around mental health issues, their achievements in securing policy change with the ‘Card before You Leave Scheme’ and their use of PPR’s Human Rights Based Approach to ensure the government lives up to their commitment to the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

The Mental Health Rights Campaign (MHRC) is delighted to announce that the Health and Social Care Board has agreed that mental health will now be included in the public information material in Year 2 of the Choose Well campaign, which is due to run in the Winter of 2014. Pressure mounted on the government to include mental heatlh when the MHRC gathered support from MLAs from all parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly  Health Committee as well as almost 1000 individuals and groups impacted by mental health.

'Powerful evidence' was how the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission described the testimony of Belfast Mental Health Rights Group (BMHRG) members Grace Cassidy and Julie Magee at the recent Public Hearing of the Commission's Inquiry into Emergency Care.

A summer of academic, professional and personal growth: my PPR work based placement experience.

Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the University of Edinburgh (UoE) to undergo a work-based placement project (WBP) with the Participation and the Practice of Rights part of my dissertation requirements.

A coalition of mental health groups from across NI have today launched a campaign calling on GPs and the Health and Social Care Board to take simple, yet far reaching steps to improve the treatment of patients experiencing mental health issues.

The Mental Health Rights Campaign group, which includes people affected by mental health issues and families bereaved by suicide, will present new Health Minister, Jim Wells with almost 1000 pledges of support from across Northern Ireland. Support has also been received from MLAs from all parties at the Stormont Health Committee.

A new mental health rights campaign has been launched by groups in response to the outcome of a recent survey which revealed that 9 out of 10 mental health service users and their carers don’t have enough information about where to go for help when in mental health crisis (March 2014).

As one person who was surveyed put it: “There are people out there who are not well and they don’t know where to go”


Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Professor Paul Hunt has issued a message of support to the Mental Health Rights Campaign's call on the Health & Social Care Board to include mental health in 'Choose Well'. Choose Well is a government public information campaign which provides information about where to go for medical treatment. Currently no information about mental health is included in Choose Well.

Professor Hunt commended the work of the Mental Health Rights Campaign groups and stated;

PPR's submission to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Inquiry into emergency health care highlights the serious and systemic problems with mental health service design and delivery at A&E settings in Northern Ireland which have consistently failed the most vulnerable.

Groups launch research report Time to Listen, Time to Act

Groups from across Northern Ireland gathered in Cookstown to mark the launch of the Mental Health Rights Campaign research report, Time to Listen; Time to Act. Holding mental health services to account. Highlights from the evening included speakers from Belfast Mental Health Rights Group, STEPS Group and SAM88 who spoke about key issues within the research including; follow up care for those leaving A&E (Card Before You Leave), having enough information about where to go to get help and how government involve people in the decisions they make about mental health services.


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