The cost of Northern Ireland cuts

A number of leading psychologists visited Belfast for the Society's Division of Clinical Psychology 2011 Strategy Meeting last week (June 9 and 10). The event began with a Stormont lunchtime lecture delivered by the Division's Chair - Professor Peter Kinderman from the University of Liverpool.

The meeting discussed ways of securing access to quality psychological interventions, often for the most vulnerable in our society, in the current climate of cuts and efficiency savings.

Professor Chris McCusker, Chair of the Northern Ireland Division, said the government is paying notable attention to psychological therapies at present.

He explained these interventions are important "not only for improving the health and well-being of individuals but the health of the nation through employability, productivity and social inclusion".

Speaking to the BBC, Professor McClusky noted cuts to psychology budgets within trusts in Northern Ireland would serve to undermine the Department of Health's psychological strategy that was outlined in 2010.