Mullan urges minister to secure long-term future of crisis intervention centre

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has urged the Health Minister to provide long-term funding for Derry’s Community Crisis Intervention Centre (CCIS) ahead of an Assembly debate on the issue on Tuesday.

The Foyle MLA said:

“While we all welcome the limited funding confirmed for the centre last week, this money does not provide any reassurance regarding the long-term future of this vital service.

“It is unfortunate and quite inexplicable that the Health Minister Robin Swann has still not accepted the service should be funded long term despite the fact 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 the Sinn Féin motion before Derry City and Strabane District council last May.

“The minister needs to start recognising this reality and act to provide long term funding for the centre.

“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 they need. 

“It has played a vital role in saving many 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. 

“I welcome the fact that its impact and its future will now be debated on floor of the Assembly and I hope the Minister will listen to what will undoubtedly be a powerful and cross-party case for its future to be secured.”