Mental ill-health is a problem that affects thousands of people right across Northern Ireland and touches the lives of so many more. Northern Ireland is also the most underfunded nation across the UK in terms of public health care for mental illness. A great deal of focus has been placed on the role of conflict on public mental health in Northern Ireland and in particular, its impact on society in the aftermath of the Troubles.
Following The Open University’s recent co-production with the BBC, Psychosis and Me, shown as part of a series to shine a light on mental health, we are proud to bring you this special talk that will take place as part of a series of events to celebrate the OU’s 50th anniversary in 2019. The OU’s Dr Sarah Vicary and Dr Sharon Mallon will take a different approach, discussing how broad social and policy level factors such as poverty, inequality and public attitudes are also shaping mental health in Northern Ireland today. They will lead a discussion on the impact that the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly has had, including the continued delay in dealing with mental health legislation.
The talk will conclude with an interactive quiz, based on the BBC programme on psychosis, that will demonstrate how social attitudes towards severe mental health problems can also shape the individual's experience and responses to these issues.
Dr Sarah Vicary is a Senior Lecturer and qualified social worker. Her PhD explored the role and experiences of Approved Mental Health Professionals.
Dr Sharon Mallon is a Lecturer in Mental Health and completed her PhD in a qualitative study of young adults' suicides from the perspective of their friends.
* Psychosis and me is available on iPlayer for 30 days from 16 May.