BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: N Ireland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 06:12 GMT 07:12 UK
NI charities form mental health group
New charity is 'to provide streamlined service'
New charity is 'to provide streamlined service'
Four of Northern Ireland's main mental health organisations have merged to become the province's largest charity.

Praxis Care Group has been formed by an amalgamation of Praxis Mental Health which helps people with mental health problems, Challenge which helps children and adults with learning disabilities and brain injury, Respond which helps elderly people and the Northern Ireland Agoraphobia and Anxiety Society.

The merger co-incides with World Mental Health Day.

Nevin Ringland, chief executive of Praxis Mental Health, said the four charities would retain their own names and programmes of care, but under the Praxis Care Group had streamlined administration, accommodation, financial, marketing, and fundraising.

He said the new group would benefit from better value in planning and sharing ideas, helping to deliver better services to end users.

Greater role

"It means that more pennies in every pound will go directly into providing services."

Mr Ringland said the new charity had been set up in response to the government's Cross Cutting Review.

He said: "Its key theme is to develop strategies to strengthen the role the voluntary sector plays in delivering public services at a local level.

"In order to prepare for this greater role in delivering services the charities have come together to put into action what the government believes to be the way forward."

The merged organisations now represent the largest Northern Ireland charity, with services in 30 locations, over 150 volunteers, 450 staff, and an annual turnover of over 8m.

Departmental review

The announcement came after Health Minister Bairbre de Brun launched a major review of mental health policy and legislation in Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

Ms de Brun announced that Professor David Bamford of the University of Ulster is to chair the review, which she said would take two years to complete.

Ms de Brun said the review would evaluate the Mental Health Order in Northern Ireland and take account of recent policy developments here and in the European Union.

It is to evaluate the Mental Health Order in Northern Ireland and take account of recent policy developments here and in the European Union.

"Importantly, it will address how best to provide services to people with a mental illness in accordance with our statutory equality and human rights obligations, and to promote their social inclusion," she said.

"It will be carried out with a strong user focus, including representation on the main Steering Group which will oversee the work, and involving widespread consultation as the exercise progresses."

However, with the future of Northern devolution in doubt because of the current political crisis, it is uncertain whether the review will go ahead.

See also:

02 Mar 00 | N Ireland
10 Mar 00 | N Ireland
26 Apr 01 | N Ireland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more N Ireland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes