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Good mental health starts in early years
If interventions are better early rather than late, then perhaps it makes sense to make them as soon as possible.
Pre-election health check
Healthcare in NI is on its knees. Restructuring the system and reducing massive waiting lists are key electoral issues. But how are people doing in general?
Children with additional needs struggle to find a place to play
All children should be able to use play parks. However, new research shows that many children with additional needs still struggle to find places that allow them to pursue this fundamental part of childhood.
The justice system needs more sympathy for victims of child sexual abuse
Children and young people who report abuse are left isolated by a justice system that is not adjusted to their needs. The Children’s Commissioner wants that to change. This could mean huge reform of how criminal trials work.
Not all inflation is bad. Current inflation is terrible.
Inflation is complicated and its effect on people is dependent on several other factors. UK inflation has risen to 5.4% but it’s the specific price rises behind this figure that are extremely concerning.
Portugal, Scotland and the case for decriminalising drug use
Would substance abuse be less of a problem if the police were less involved? This is a complicated question but evidence suggests that Northern Ireland could do better.
Stormont could cut child poverty by a third
A new report about the direction of child poverty in Northern Ireland shows the difference that can be made by a robust social security system.
Governments should think less about GDP – and focus on wellbeing
If wellbeing is going to work as an alternative to GDP, Stormont needs to commit to it. This looks increasingly possible.
There is no single fix for poverty
New research highlights the many things that make poverty persist in East Belfast. Problems are not limited to the expense of food or electricity – a lack of digital access is a problem, even in such an urban area.
Can failing children’s services be the spark that ignites NI’s health transformation?
A new report from the Children’s Commissioner highlights the ongoing collapse of Health and Social Care. Could the implications for children finally push Stormont into reform?
Poverty, mental health and an unkind welfare state
A proper debate about the links between mental ill health and poverty and what needs to be done about it is overdue.
Stormont should take on loneliness in 2021
Covid-19 may have increased loneliness - but loneliness was an issue before the pandemic and, without reform, will remain one even as society returns to normal or something very like it.
Northern Ireland is failing children with special educational needs
The Covid-19 pandemic has drawn attention away from the ongoing crisis of SEN provision in the education system. There is no easy fix.
Childcare is infrastructure - investment is essential
The Executive has plenty on its plate but now is the time to look at childcare in Northern Ireland.