The centre brings together a number of community mental health services onto one site increasing service accessibility and modernising the mode of service delivery.
Speaking at the opening Ms O’Neill said: “Since taking the health portfolio in May this year I have consistently said that I am committed to tackling the stigma of mental health. We need to support people to keep well in the first place and when they need care and support, services should be safe and of the highest quality.
“This facility, the first new-build mental health facility to have been developed in Belfast for many years, will compliment the opening of a new Acute Inpatient Unit on the Belfast City Hospital site, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed by November 2018.
“Old See House is developed to hotel standards and will also be used by voluntary and community sector groups. The Resource Centre has 73 staff including admin, community mental health nursing, social workers, doctors, occupational therapists, psychology, peer support workers, carer and user advocates.“
Also based at Old See house is the Belfast Trust Recovery College. Co-produced by service users, carers and staff, the Recovery College programmes aim to provide educational courses for people with mental health difficulties.
The Minister continued: “As I stated in the Assembly last week, when launching my 10-year vision – Delivering Together, the concept of Recovery from mental illness is one of my key principles for improving mental health in the north of Ireland.
“Recovery involves making sense of and finding meaning in, what has happened; becoming an expert in self-care; building a new sense of hope and purpose in life; discovering resourcefulness and possibilities and using these and the resources available to pursue aspirations and goals.”
Belfast Trust Chief Executive Dr Michael McBride said: “Recovery Colleges offer a fresh approach to mental health recovery. The adult learning model reduces stigma and recognises the value and benefits that can occur when people who use services work together in partnership with those who provide them. I am pleased that each Trust has now established Recovery Colleges. I want to sincerely thank the people who use this service and those who work in it for what they have achieved together."
The Minister concluded: “Old See House is a further step on the road to fully modernised mental health services in the north of Ireland. It helps bring together a number of community mental health teams that increase accessibility for service users and promote a multidisciplinary, person centred approach to treatment.”