Health Minister Robin Swann has announced the commissioning of four additional training places on the postgraduate Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme.
Psychologists play a key role in providing mental health services in Northern Ireland and provided essential support to those in need during the Covid-19 crisis. The expansion in training places, delivered through Queen’s University Belfast, will in increase the annual intake from 15 places in 2019/20 to 19 places in 2020/21.
Minister Swann said: “As we look to transform mental health services in Northern Ireland through the implementation of the Mental Health Action Plan and development of a new Mental Health Strategy, it will be vital to ensure that we have the right mix of skills and professions to create a first class mental health service that meets the needs of our community. Increasing psychology training places is a key step forward.”
“The Mental Health Action Plan kick-starts the transformation of mental health services. The increase of psychology places fits into this process and links to action 13.1 – a review of the mental health workforce.
“The reform is further supported by the appointment of Professor Siobhan O’Neill as the interim Mental Health Champion. Professor O’Neill will support the reform of the approach to mental health, including consideration of the workforce needs going forward.”
Professor Aidan Feeney, Deputy Head of School and Director of Education for Postgraduate Taught Programmes in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast, commented: “We welcome the increase in training places on the postgraduate Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme at Queen’s University Belfast. Psychologists continue to play a crucial role in dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on mental health in Northern Ireland, and this is a great step forward in supporting mental health services and our community.”