Mental Health Engagement Day

Building a better Mental Health Service



On the 22nd May  the HSE hosted an event in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham to celebrate the progress made in the area of Mental Health Engagement.  This event showcased developments that have been made since the launch of the Partnership for Change report in Spring 2016. This report was completed by working collaboratively with service users, family members and carers.  One of the first key recommendations of the national mental health policy A Vision for Change was that the involvement of service users and their carers should be a feature of every aspect of service development and delivery which is what this event is celebrating today.


Other key achievements acknowledged at today’s event were: the appointment of nine Area Leads for Mental Health Engagement who have established over 30 Local Forums across the country, the recent launch of the National Recovery Framework and the great work that Advancing Recovery in Ireland (ARI) are developing in conjunction with service users, their families and service providers as regards co–production and the deployment in our mental health services of Peer Support Workers.


Special guest at the event, Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly T.D. said: “We are in the process of refreshing our Mental Health Policy, A Vision for Change.  In Government, we are aware that the real experience of people using our mental health services must inform what we do in policy and in practice. Therefore, I welcome today’s celebration of Mental Health Engagement and this new era, connecting the services with service users and their families.  I also want to thank Liam Hennessy, Head of Mental Health Engagement, for his involvement in the Oversight Group for the Review of A Vision for Change.  It is worth noting our commitment to hearing the voice and experience of service users and their family members, as we have invited some of the Area Leads and Peer Support Workers to participate in advisory groups for the Vision for Change review process.  I welcome engagement and believe that it will lead to the continued improvement of our mental health services.”


Also speaking at the event, HSE National Director for Community Operations, Anne O’Connor said: “We continue to be committed to engagement with service users and family members, as we have been for the past five years.   The HSE are now moving to establish regular service user and family member forums throughout the country.  This will help us really hear what our services users and their families are saying, so we can take action that reflects those experiences. These forums will help ensure that the views and experiences of the people using our services are at the forefront of all of our work, as we embed recovery approaches in all that we do.”


The HSE Head of Mental Health Engagement, Liam Hennessy, said: “I want to welcome this opportunity to celebrate engagement. This development is an important milestone for mental health services in Ireland. People who use our services and these who love and care for them will be able to influence and change services directly, for the better.  This is in keeping with the way we support people in their recovery.


More information on Mental Health Engagement and the local events that happen around the country can be found on