Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Western Health and Social Services Trauma Advisory Panel

  I am writing on behalf of the Western Health and Social Services Trauma Advisory Panel in Northern Ireland. The Panel was formed in February 1999, with the aim of bringing together voluntary, community and statutory groups, which provide a service to the victims and survivors of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland. There are four panels one in each of the Board areas.

  If possible representatives from the panel would like to be involved in any discussions, which concern the ongoing work for victims, and survivors of the Troubles in N.J. To date we have been involved in the following areas of work:

    —  An Information Pack providing information about each group on the Panel.

    —  A leaflet "Coping with Trauma".

    —  A Directory outlining the services offered by the groups that work with people who have been traumatised directly or indirectly by the Troubles.

    —  An Evaluation of the work of the TAP and An Audit of the Needs of the People affected by the Troubles. (Dr Roger Manktlelow's report).

    —  Lobbied key policy makers.

    —  Training for the TAP members and groups.

    —  Four students have recently completed their Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training from the Belfast Cognitive Therapy Centre, and the panel is currently in the process of trying to secure funding in order to provide a service for the groups and members of the panel.

    —  Developing Service Level Agreements between the Statutory and Voluntary sector (there are a few groups who have already drawn up agreements with Foyle Trust).

    —  Have an accredited BACP counselling course for 30 people who work with victims of the Troubles..

    —  A-Z booklet for victims of the "Troubles".

    —  A Website providing information about the groups involved on the TAP and the services they provide.

    —  Media coverage/television, newspapers, and local radio broadcasts.

    —  Contact with the First and Deputy First Minister's Office, the Victims Unit and a number of Politicians.

    —  Contact with Interdepartmental working groups.

  The Panel meets on a regular basis and has recently been expanded to include the Sperrin Lakeland as well as the Foyle area. This has brought its own challenges as the number of groups represented on the Panel has been greatly enlarged. The current Chair is Mrs Nuala Doherty of Foyle Trust and an area-wide group which maintains an overview of the process comprises the Chair, the Coordinator, the Directors of Foyle and Sperrin Lakeland Trusts, Mr John Doherty and Mr Vincent Ryan, Mr Sean Coll who continues to represent Sperrin Lakeland Trust, as well as the Local Strategic Partnership—This group is chaired by the Service Planner for Mental Health services in the WHSSB, Mr Jim Simpson.

30 December 2004

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