Health Minister Robin Swann has visited the Extern offices in Londonderry to see the excellent work being undertaken by the Community Crisis Intervention Centre.
During the visit the Minister agreed to an extension of funding to the end of September to ensure the provision of services. £32,400 will be allocated enabling Derry and Strabane District Council to extend the service for a further three months.
Minister Swann said: “I hope this funding provides both the breathing space and an opportunity for renewed discussion with stakeholders to try and reach a longer term funding solution for the initiative.
“The service has shown positive benefits for those clients who are in crisis and I sincerely hope that funding is secured to enable the service to continue.
“It is incumbent on the Council who commission the service to secure a sustainable funding solution going forward. I encourage all stakeholders to use this additional period as an opportunity to have those conversations and engage extensively with Extern to identify lasting funding options. Given the cross-cutting and important nature of the CCIS, I hope that this will include a multi-agency solution involving local enforcement agencies.”
Policy work to consider the optimal delivery of crisis services has been requested by the Chief Medical Officer and is expected to commence imminently under the Protect Life 2 Strategy.
This is expected to make recommendations for the future delivery of crisis intervention services and also enhanced co-ordination of a range of associated programmes including the Towards Zero Suicide programme, Lifeline, and the Multi Agency Triage Team.
The learning from Derry Crisis Intervention Service will be of considerable value to inform that policy work. Decisions on the future delivery of crisis services will be taken by the Department once that work is completed.