Sinn Féin Council Health spokesperson, Cllr Sandra Duffy, has welcomed confirmation of renewed funding for the Community Crisis Intervention Service (CCIS) in Derry and reiterated a call for its long-term future to be secured.
Cllr. Duffy commented: “I am pleased that the Health and Social Care Board has confirmed extension funding which will enable this vital service to continue in the short term at least.
“However, more work needs to be done to secure its long-term future because the Health Minister Robin Swann has still not accepted that the service should be funded, even though it falls within the remit of his department’s Protect Life 2 Strategy.
“There is also overwhelming support for CCIS as evidenced by the backing of my motion before Derry City and Strabane District council last May so the minister needs to start recognising that reality.
“The CCIS was developed in conjunction with the Western Trust, Health and Social Care board, Ulster University, Foyle Search and Rescue and Council to provide a low threshold responsive service, addressing issues of crisis, self-harm, suicidal ideation and substance misuse, using de-escalation techniques, with support and trained counsellors on hand to ensure the person receives the appropriate help that they need.
“It has played a vital role in saving lives in this city and it is needed now more than ever as the Coivid-19 pandemic is clearly having a detrimental impact on mental health.
“The Minister has also stated that there are plans to look at the Belfast Crisis Intervention Service, and while we appreciate the need for mental health services across the North, he cannot ignore the clearly identified need in this region.”