Category: Partners

Mental Health Champions – Funded by Leargas and Erasmus+ Programme

We are absolutely so delighted, excited and honoured that our Mental Health Champions Youth Programme has been picked by the Selection Committee in Leargas under the Erasmus+ Funding Stream to develop the original pilot programme into a Train the Trainer programme with European Partners. The lead for the programme is Arron Galbraith.

The Mental Health Champions educational programme was designed by young people to support young people gain mental health awareness from a practical standpoint, in a creative and engaging environment that allows young people to openly and freely discuss any fears or myths they may have concerning mental health / ill health. This programme was piloted successfully during autumn 2017, in collaboration with three locally based youth projects (Trinity Youth Services, Donaghmede; St. Paul’s, Artane and Connections, Whitehall) with support from the National Youth Council of Ireland. The programme itself runs for eight weekly two hour sessions.

This ‘Train the Trainer’ objective ties in with the EU’s Youth Strategy, which aims to promote mental and sexual health, sport physical activity and healthy lifestyles. We aim to give participants the opportunity to explore and deepen their understanding of mental health and ill health in a supportive and non-judgemental environment.

The topics covered in the training will be:
What is Mental Health?
What is Mental Ill Health?
Gender and Mental Health
Challenges in Mental Health
Stigma and Stereotypes
The Language of Mental Health
Self Care

Our partners on this project are: Moray Wellbeing Hub (UK), JOETZ (Belgium), Youth Line (Greece), PiGreco (Italy), SFERA (Denmark), InfoEck (Austria), Psientifica (Portugal) and Youthfully Yours Gr (Greece).

The course content was developed through consultation and co-production with young people that have lived experience of mental health difficulties. Initially content was collected through consultation with a number of young people attending Willowgrove Adolescent Unit, St. Patrick’s Mental Health Service. This content then formed the basis of co-production processes involving an independent facilitator and a youth panel made up of youth representatives that have either their own lived experience or experience of a family members mental health difficulties. The young people felt that the content reflects information that all young people should have. The young people felt strongly that
it is important to gain mental health awareness from a practical standpoint. Similarly they felt it was important that a creative and engaging space be provided that allows young people openly and freely discuss any fears or myths they may have concerning mental ill health. With this in mind, the programme employs methods informed by non-formal learning methodologies in its delivery, these are traditionally used within youth work. The current programme, Mental Health Champions, is a Train the Trainer style programme that aims to give youth workers a framework that educates young
people on mental health and what to do if they have concerns about a peer.

Check back on the blog for regular updates.

ARI Recovery – Making It Happen

I was delighted to be invited to the ARI learning set entitled ‘Recovery – Making It Happen’, hosted in the Bonnington Hotel. This was an amazing opportunity to gain insight into the experiences of those who provide and use the recovery services currently available within Ireland, as well as looking to the future of recovery.

Coming from my own background as a third year undergraduate student of Psychology, I had become very familiar with the more medical approach to analysing and treating mental health and this perception has become open up to viewing mental health as something that can benefit greatly from a recovery approach that encourages empowerment of the individual.

The day consisted of an exhibition of the various recovery services available to people, along with different talks given by service providers and service users giving their personal experiences of either providing recovery orientated services or using the services, and a selection of workshops aiming to provide knowledge on the different aspects of recovery. I attended two of the workshops – ‘Making Recovery Happen Through Supporting Skills & Knowledge Development’ and ‘Peer Support Workers supporting recovery oriented mental health services’. The first workshop I attended concerned the role of peer support workers. After gaining a better understanding of the why having peer support workers is important in the journey toward recovery, I was surprised to learn that there are only a total of 35 peer support workers currently in Ireland. This workshop highlighted for me the importance of peer support workers as they fill a previously neglected gap in the mental health services by providing the services with a perspective from someone with lived experience of having mental health difficulties. The final workshop included a talk from a Recovery College student, Marian, discussing her experience as a Recovery College student to working with the college to collaborate on creating and delivering courses to further contribute to the mental health recovery education.

The day proved to be an informative experience that delivered valuable information on the way mental health recovery is currently regarded through personal anecdotes of service users and talks given by service providers. Both the workshops and talks provided me with information that strongly cemented for me that a service and recovery initiative that is influenced by individuals who have the lived experience of facing difficulties regarding their mental health is one that will understand and better cater to the needs of the people it serves


Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing Conference

The Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing is please to invite abstracts for its 2018 conference which will be held jointly with the COMMUNE (Co-produced Mental Health Nurse Education) project.  Conference booking is now open.

Link to the Registration page

The theme of the conference is: ‘Informing mental health nursing practice, education, and research through co production’.

There has been growing interest in co-production in the past decade, particularly in the context of promoting partnerships between governments, services, service users and communities in the commissioning and development of health and community services. A co-production approach sees service users /consumers  involved in, or leading, defining the problem, designing and delivering the solution, and evaluating the outcome, either with professionals or independently (Roper, Grey & Cadogan 2018).

Attendance at the conference is free.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof Brenda Happell

Julia Bocking

Abstracts are invited from all groups on areas related to the conference theme.  The closing date for abstract submission is 20th April 2018.  You can download the abstract submission form here.

The conference is supported by Nursing & Midwifery Planning & Development, Quality & Clinical Care Directorate, Health Service Executive, Dublin North.

The conference will take place May 17th and 18th, 2018, in the:

School of Nursing and Human Sciences

Dublin City University

Collins Avenue Extension

Dublin 9

D09 W6Y4