Community mental health group develops local action plan

By Maurice Garvey


THE collaboration of key stakeholders has led to the creation of a local action plan aimed at promoting mental health awareness and improved service provision.

D10 Be Well is an interagency initiative, which works to respond to the mental health and well-being needs of the Dublin 10 community.

Dialogue between stakeholders found the lack of participation of persons with their own experience of mental health issues in the D10 Be Well forum was identified as an area of concern.

The project ‘Our Service, Our Say’ was developed by the D10 Be Well Interagency initiative and funded by The Genio Trust to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge of people with experience of mental health issues to participate more effectively in decision making structures.

The first part of the project was a research study, designed to identify the specific needs of mental health issues.

The research involved 41 people in the Ballyfermot area, and took place from December to May 2015.

D10 Be Well 1

A key recommendation arising from this research was to build the capacity of people with self-experience of mental health and their supporters to engage meaningfully in areas that concern their lives.

The ‘Skills for Change’ Programme was developed to address this recommendation.

Two courses have been delivered in Dublin 10, to people with experience of mental health difficulties and their supporters.

On April 25, in Ballyfermot Library, the two groups, along with agencies and individuals that had been involved in supporting the project, came together to celebrate the achievement and focus on the next steps.

This is a pioneering piece of work that has been carried out here in Ballyfermot”, said Liam Hennessy, the new National Head for Service User, Family Member and Carer Engagement in the National Mental Health Division, HSE.

The training participants have now formed a representative group and want to reach out to other people with experience of mental health difficulties and begin to bring about change in the mental health services.

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