Amendment 5

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of The Earl of Listowel The Earl of Listowel Crossbench 5:15 pm, 17th July 2019

My Lords, I welcome Amendment 7, as tabled by my friend, the noble Lord, Lord Empey, as a trustee of the mental health service for adolescents which is the Brent Centre for Young People in north London, as noted in my entry in the register of interests. That centre’s work has been in progress for 50 years; originally, it dealt principally with young people at risk of taking their own lives. The clinicians there tell me that they have never had a young person take their life while under treatment in that centre. They have described to me how when a young person meets a clinician who immediately understands where they are coming from and their concerns, it is immediately effective in assuaging the fears of the young person.

What I am trying to say is that where appropriate services are available, they can be very effective. It troubles me very much to hear that this strategy, developed in Northern Ireland, has been on the shelf for two and a half years because of the vacuum of power. I warmly welcome my noble friend’s efforts to highlight these points today. I hope that the Minister may have something comforting to say on the matter of young men, in particular, taking their lives in Northern Ireland because there has been insufficient action to address their needs.