Charity celebrates 50th anniversary

Staff and clients of AMH New Horizons service joined by Craigavon Mayor Carla Lockhart for the golden balloon release celebrating the charity's 50th anniversary year. INLM1913-02
Staff and clients of AMH New Horizons service joined by Craigavon Mayor Carla Lockhart for the golden balloon release celebrating the charity's 50th anniversary year. INLM1913-02

ACTION Mental Health is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Since 1963, Action Mental Health (AMH) has provided life-changing services, by helping people to recover from the effects of mental ill-health.

Now celebrating their 50th anniversary and being chosen as the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission’s inaugural Charity of the Year, AMH New Horizons Craigavon and Banbridge held a balloon release last week.

The charity operates in 12 locations across the region and increasingly delivers a variety of courses out in the community. They support more than 2,000 clients each year and by working in partnership with schools and colleges promote positive mental health to a further 3,000 young people.

Clients, staff, family, friends and local supporters came together to release balloons into the air, marking a half century of support and recovery for people living with mental illness. The celebrations continued with a barbecue and cake cutting at their garden nursery in Tannaghmore.

AMH aims to enhance the quality of life and the employability of people with mental health needs or a learning disability in Northern Ireland. The charity provides their clients with many opportunities. They encourage them to adopt a healthier lifestyle and to widen their social networks. They also provide them with the skills to build a better future, set personal goals, develop coping skills, re-engage with society and become more employable.

One in five adults in Northern Ireland will show signs of a mental illness and prevalence of mental illness is 25% higher here than in England. AMH’s services aim to change the lives of people living with mental ill health, as demonstrated in the words of the clients:

“I’m now back living with my family, in paid employment, and most importantly I look forward to each day.”

“I have nothing but praise and admiration for the staff who work so hard to help people like me come back to life.”

“AMH has transformed my life.”

CEO David Babington said: “Good mental health is one of the most important aspects of general wellbeing. Action Mental Health works on the front line, providing people with the support they need to recover from mental ill health. This is a great way for our people to celebrate their successes in their communities and mark how far the organisation has come in the last half century.”