Friday, 21 December 2012

January Schedule

January 2013 Newsletter

Members' favourite Gateway moments of 2012

Getting an Indian Head Massage.

"Acting the Maggot" in the summer.

Walking up on Monday mornings and remembering that Gateway is on.

WRAP being facilitated by Gateway Members.

Knowing Gateway exists. 

The Act the Maggot course –great fun!!

Just hangin’ out and playing pool with the lads.

When Martha called me to tell me I had a job in Gateway!

When Sean came and played his accordion for us all!

WRAP & Assertivensses courses, they were invaluable.

The people I met.

The Christmas Party. 

Just a few of the many things people enjoy about Gateway - here's to a brighter and better 2013.

Recent Graduation in RPCP

Happy Christms to all!

To our all our members and friends, from all of us in Gateway. Thank you so much for all the support kindness and encouragement in 2012. Wishing everyone a peaceful and restful Christmas. If you are anyone you know needs to speak to someone please see below helpline numbers Samaritans 1850 609090 1Life 1800 247100

Friday, 14 December 2012

Thursday, 6 December 2012

'GROWing towards recovery: a re-enchantment with life' - Conference

We have on place for a member to attend, if you would like to attend please let a project worker know before Friday 7th December 2012.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Mental Health Reform Some Audio Shorts

Mental Health Reform’s collection of audio shorts, titled “Because It’s Time”, brings together different voices, across generations and regions, to tell a story about mental health in Ireland – what’s working, what needs to change, and why the issue should matter to us all. Production designed, edited and produced for Mental Health Reform by Victoria Enright, VE Productions. Have a listen here. Budget 2013 Call to Action - code -

Amnsety International

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Planning for 2013 in Gateway

Be involved in planning what Courses should happen in Gateway next year.
All members welcome on the 28th November 4.00pm – 5.30pm with pizza and fruit and some planning to be done.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Amnesty International Survey On The Mental Health Act Review

Amnesty are undertaking a review of the interim report on the 2001 Mental Health Act.

Amnesty have conducted focus groups on the report around the country but we also have an online survey for people that would like to give their input.

We are especially looking for people who have used the services reaction.

The survey can be found here.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Creative Writing

Creative Writing is on a break on Friday the 2nd of November.

Back as usual on the 9th of November from 2.00pm top 4.00pm.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Law Reform and Gateway Members

In May and June 2012 Amnesty International Ireland used the citizens’ jury model to facilitate the involvement of people with experience of mental health problems to analyse new capacity law. A number of Gateway Members were involved in this process. See the link below for the reccomendations of the Jury.

A Citizens' Jury on Legal Capasity Law

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Friday, 12 October 2012

Positive Steps for Wellbeing

Some positive steps to wellbeing for Mental Health Week here

Drop in closed on Monday 15th of October 2012.

We are sorry we have had to close drop in on the 15th of October due to unforseen circumstances. The Gateway Project Team.

Thank you.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Respond Conference

Mental Health Reform collecting signatures in colleges and need some help

* Tue 16 Oct, NUI Maynooth, 12-3.00pm
* Thurs 18 Oct, Parkway and Arthur’s Quay Centres, Limerick
* Tue 23, Thurs 25 Oct, TCD, 12-3.00pm
* Thurs 1 Nov, Eyre Square Centre, Galway, 12-4pm
* Wed 7 Nov, Dundalk IT, 12-3.00pm
* Wed 7 Nov, Marshes Centre, Dundalk, 3-6pm
* Thurs 8 Nov, Waterford IT, 12.00-4.00pm*
*Tue 13 Nov, Manor Mills Centre, Maynooth, 12-3pm
*Mon 19 Nov, Dun Laoghaire College of Art & Design, pm
* Tue 20 Nov, St. Pat’s Drumcondra, 12.00-3.00pm
*Thurs 22 Nov, Cork IT, 12.00-3.00pm
* Mon 26 Nov, Sligo IT, 12.00-2.00pm
*Mon 26 Nov, Johnstown Centre, Sligo, 3-5pm

If you’d like to help out on any of these dates or want more information on the campaign, just email Lara Kelly or call Lara at 087 618 9715.

Alternatively, you can download a petition here ( and collect signatures in your local area.

If you'd like to do this, please return signed petition sheets to us by 20th November, so that we can prepare for a handover to the Government in late November.

Thank you! Thanks! S

hari -- Shari McDaid Policy Officer Tel. 01 612 1422 Mobile: 086 044 6696 Like MHR on facebook Follow us on twitter @MHReform

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Help needed

Hi all, For those of you who do not know me, my name is Maria Swan and I volunteered with Gateway in 2009-2010 for several months. I am currently doing a Masters in Social Work in Trinity College Dublin. I am really interested in the area of mental health and service provision in Ireland. I would love to talk to a Gateway member about their experience of mental health service provision in Ireland for one of my assignments. All that would be required of you is to meet me for an informal chat which will last as long as you want to talk to me for. Everything discussed will be dealt with in confidence and your name will be anonymised. If you are interested or need more information, please contact me at or at +353 87 760 38 77. Thanks very much and I look forward to hearing from you!!

World Mental Health Day

Reach out and speak about your mental health and wellbeing.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012

Be the Change

Government told: Don’t Drop the Ball on Mental Health in Budget 2013.

Mental Health Reform's pre-budget campagin. Sign the petition online here. Former Ireland and Munster rugby star Alan Quinlan joined Mental Health Reform’s Director Orla Barry today to urge the Government to continue investing in community mental health services and not to drop the ball on mental health in next year’s Budget. Readers can support the campaign by signing Mental Health Reform’s online petition. Orla Barry commented: “the current Government promised to invest €35 million every year in developing community mental health services, yet little of this money has been spent in 2012. We are asking them to keep their word and invest a full €35 million in 2013.” “The mental health of Ireland’s population is under severe strain and our mental health services are in an important time of transition towards modern, community-based services. Further cuts to the mental health budget risk undermining work already done and safety within our existing services”, Ms. Barry concluded. At the launch, Quinlan called on the public to support the campaign: “I know from my own experience how important it is that people get the help they need, in their local communities. With the right support, people will have the chance to recover their mental health and live their lives to the fullest. We need to show that there is public support out there for this issue. Join the campaign on".

Tuesday, 18 September 2012





When:                       Thursday 20th of September 2012 from 5.00pm to 6.00pm.

Where: Drop-in:      Parker Hill, Rathmines.

Things to note:         This is happening as members made a decision to invite Mental Health Reform in for this at the September Members Meeting. 

It is your choice to participate.

All recordings will be anonymous.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Monday, 10 September 2012

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day

If you are feeling suicidal, reach out and tell someone.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Gateway Members - time to protest!

Government Buildings, Merrion Street, Dublin 2 on Friday 7th September from 1pm.


See you there! Bring lots of noise, signs and everyone you know! 


* We were promised 'A Vision for Change'.  

* We were promised better mental health services.

* We deserve better. 


Mental Health Reform calls protest on unacceptable cuts to mental health budget.

 September 6th, 2012
Mental Health Reform is extremely alarmed by reports that the Government plans to use the €35 million promised for community mental health services to offset the deficit in the Health Service Executive. Coming just days ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September, these threatened cuts are yet another blow to mental health. Mental Health Reform has called a protest against the proposed cuts to mental health, and invites the public to show their support for the protest at Government Buildings, Merrion Street, Dublin 2 on Friday 7th September from 1pm.

In Budget 2012, the Government committed to investing €35 million in the development of community based mental health services, including 370 staff for adult, child and adolescent Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), 34 staff for suicide prevention and 10 staff for primary care counselling services. This investment is a crucial part of the agreed transition from the old model of institutional, hospital-based care towards the holistic, community-based care envisaged by the Government’s own mental health policy A Vision for Change. To date, none of the appointments have been made, despite assurances by Minister Kathleen Lynch in the Seanad in July that the posts would be in place by September.

Mental Health Reform Director, Orla Barry, commented: “once again, mental health is being seen as the easy target for budget cuts, because people experiencing mental health difficulties are sometimes not in a position to stand up and shout about it. It is wholly unacceptable that the Government’s commitment is not being honoured.”

“It is important to stress that the €35 million promised in Budget 2012 was not new money. In reality, these funds came out of the mental health budget last year, and represent a transfer of funds from one set of services (hospital-based services) to another (community-based services). Even with the proposed €35 million, the mental health budget still took a cut of 1% in 2012. Indeed, since the €35 million has not yet materialised and the staff for CMHTs have not yet been appointed, the mental health budget will have incurred a cut of almost 6% by the end of 2012, unless the Government’s commitment to invest in community services is honoured.”

Ms. Barry continued: “this threat to cut the mental health budget highlights once again the urgent need for the appointment of a Director for Mental Health with budgetary control. Mental Health Reform is concerned that the proposed HSE Governance Bill only allows for the new Director for Mental Health to be recruited from the pool of existing National Directors. This important post needs to be filled by someone with an understanding of and experience in modern, community-based mental health services.”

“We know that the HSE is ready to make appointments to these posts. We want these posts by the end of the year. Given that trust has broken down, we now need a written guarantee from the Department of Health that these posts will be filled by the end of 2012, along with a detailed breakdown of posts and a clear timeline. If the Government continues to chip away at services, they risk turning an economic crisis into a mental health crisis”, Ms. Barry concluded.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Mental Health Reform - Prebudget 2013 Submission

There are copies of Mental Health Reform's Pre-Budget 2013 Submission in drop-in for comments in Gateway.   

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Monday, 13 August 2012


More about the Mental Health Commission can be found on their website

Completed questionnaires can be returned electronically to

'Consultation on Mental Health Commission Strategic Plan 2013 - 2015'

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Mental Health Reform would like to speak to people about their experiences of making complaints or having wanted to make complaints about the Irish Mental Health Services from 2006 onwards.

Mental Health Reform would like to speak to people about their experiences of making complaints or having wanted to make complaints about the Irish Mental Health Services from 2006 onwards.

We are holding confidential interviews with a small number of people in contact with the services since 2006 to document personal experiences of making complaints.  The purpose of the interviews is to explore how the process impacts on people and to identify any gaps in the current complaints procedures. The interviews will then be transcribed anonymously and a case story drafted for participants to review and amend as they wish.  Anonymous case stories will be published with participants' consent on Mental Health Reform’s website in the future and will contribute to the development of advocacy materials necessary for submissions to Government and mental health service providers.  Participation is entirely voluntary and people can withdraw at any stage as they choose.  Anyone who has had contact with the services whether directly or as a family member, an advocate or a staff member can participate.

If you would like to take part, it is important to understand the nature of the project and what it involves as fully as possible beforehand.  The information sheet explains the project and involvement in detail.  We would love to talk to anybody who is interested in participating in the project.  Call the interviewer, Fionn Fitzpatrick or the project supervisor, Shari McDaid for more information on 01-6121422 or email us in confidence: or and we will be in touch directly.

Thank you for your support.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Wellness Recovery Action Plan

Wellness Recovery Action Plan
There is a WRAP programme starting in Threshold in Tallaght on Wednesday mornings for 6 weeks starting on the 5th of September 2012. For more details contact Jenny on 01-4940502

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Gateway Members Art in the Coachouse, Dublin Castle.

Three Day Hearing Voices Group Facilitation & Network Development Training

                      Faciliator: Jacqui Dillon
19, 20 & 21 November 2012

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Aras Moyola, Lecture Room 2

National University of Ireland, Galway.

Funded by the Nursing and Midwifery Planning Development Unit

Health Service Executive

Organised by the Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing

An Experiential Workshop for Mental Health Staff and People with Lived Experience who want to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate a Hearing Voices Support Group

Hearing Voices Groups offer a safe place for people to feel accepted and comfortable sharing their experiences of voices, visions, tactile sensations and other unusual experiences and perceptions. People meet together to help and support each other, to exchange information, and to learn from one another. Groups also offer an opportunity for people to accept and “live with voices” in a way that enables them to regain some control over their lives.

Jacqui Dillon is a respected campaigner, writer, international speaker and trainer specialising in hearing voices, ‘psychosis’, dissociation, trauma, abuse, healing and recovery.  She is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England and a Board member of Intervoice – the International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices. Jacqui is Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London. Along with Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher she is the co-editor of Living with Voices, an anthology of 50 voice hearers’ stories of recovery.  She is also co-editor of Demedicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition, and has published numerous articles and papers; is on the editorial board of the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches and is a member of the collective for Asylum, the magazine for Democratic Psychiatry. Jacqui is also a voice hearer.  For further information please see

For expressions of interest, application form and further information contact:

Siobhán Smyth
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Aras Moyola

3-Day Hearing Voices Group Facilitation & Network Development Training

Facilitator: Jacqui Dillon

19, 20 & 21 November 2012

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Aras Moyola

Lecture Room 2

National University of Ireland, Galway.

There is an established and emerging body of evidence to support the effectiveness of Hearing Voices Groups.  They offer people who hear voices the opportunity to share their experience and find ways of coping with this experience which can be complementary to other support methods.

There are – as yet – very few Hearing Voices groups in Ireland. In order to continue the development of a network of Hearing Voices Groups, a 3-day training programme for people who are interested in becoming group facilitators has been organised by the Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing,  and has been funded by the Nursing and Midwifery Planning Development Unit, Health Service Executive.

The programme takes place on 19, 20 and 21 November in School of Nursing and Midwifery,

Aras Moyola, Lecture Room 2, National University of Ireland, Galway, and is facilitated by Jacqui Dillon. On completion of the training, participants will be expected to start up a hearing voices group and/or co-facilitate an existing group.  It is also envisaged that the programme will lead to the establishment of a network where practising facilitators can meet regularly to share good practice and their experiences.

Expressions of interest are now invited from voice hearers who have a genuine interest in facilitating/co-facilitating a group and from  mental health staff who have agreement and/or opportunities to start a group in the setting in which they work.  Joint applications are specifically welcomed from two voice hearers or voice hearer/mental health staff member (maybe supported by the services they use/work in), who have an interest in starting and facilitating a group. Others interested in starting a group, ideally those who have identified a service willing to support them to establish a group, are also welcome to apply.

Places on the programme are limited and will be allocated on the basis of and ability to attend all 3 days and a willingness and commitment to start a Hearing Voices group

Expression of interest and application forms available from 091 49 2832.  On receipt, please complete either the joint application or the individual application form.  The closing date for applications is Friday 9th November 2012. 

If you would like to discuss making an application and/or would like more information about the programme contact Siobhán at the above email or telephone number.


School of Nursing and Midwifery
Aras Moyola
National University of Ireland, Galway

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Minister Lynch visiting Gateway

Minister Kathleen Lynch will be visiting Gateway drop-in on Thursday this week. She is due to arrive at 3.00pm. All members welcome.

Wellbeing Programme Open Day

Open Day

Wellbeing Course

Community Room, Mount Drummond Court

Monday the 9th of July 2012 at 2.00pm

Come along  and find out about the course and have some tasty healthy food.

When is it?  Starting on the 12th of July 2012. 

16 weeks on Monday and Thursday from 1.00pm to 6.00pm.

Course Fee: 30.00. You can register and pay the course fee at the open day.

For more information please ring Martha on 01 4965558

July Gateway Letter

View more documents from GatewayMHProject.

July Schedule

View more documents from GatewayMHProject.

July 2012 Newsletter

View more documents from GatewayMHProject.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Gateway June Members Letter 2012

June 2012 Newsletter

Prime Time Programme on ECT

Edel McAlister, Prime Time, is researching a programme on ECT and changes to the law.

They are looking for people to talk to - people who have a view they wish to express; people who have had bad or good experiences of ECT or family members.

Please feel free to pass on Edel's mobile number to interested people who'd like to know more or be involved - 0877425305.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

WRAP Session - Thursday 21st at 4.00pm.

There will be an information session on the upcoming WRAP in Gateway drop in at 4.00pm this Thursday. Come along and find out if WRAP is for you.

More about Mary Ellen Copeland here.

 Mary Ellen Copeland Part 1
Mary Ellen Copeland Part 2

Friday, 15 June 2012

Mental Health Commission Consultation

The Mental Health Commission is commencing a written consultation exercise on its Draft Seclusion and Physical Restraint Reduction Strategy. The written consultation will run for a period of three months until 12th September 2012.

The Commission will also link in with service user groups to ascertain their views through additional methods. The draft strategy includes 18 actions that aim to reduce the use of seclusion and physical restraint in approved centres. All actions included in the strategy were informed by international good practice initiatives. A copy of the knowledge review which informed the strategy is attached. A consultation document which includes the 18 actions and a series of questions designed to elicit views is also attached.

Feedback can be submitted by email or by post to
Mental Health Commission, Standards & Quality Assurance Division,
St Martin’s House,
Waterloo Road,
Dublin 4.

Please circulate details of the consultation to anyone you think may be interested. Information on the consultation is also available on the Commission’s website

If you have any questions on this, please contact me by email or by telephone on (01) 6362469.

Kind Regards,
Derek Beattie Derek Beattie Project Officer Standards and Quality Assurance Division Mental Health Commission St Martin's House Waterloo Road Dublin 4 Ph: +353 (1) 636 2469 Fax:+353 (1) 636 2440 Email:

Gateway June 2012 Schedule

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Ken Jue - InShape Physical Health & Mental Health Programme

Ken Jue will be in Dublin next week and will present on his InShape Physical Health & Mental Health Programme at a Morning Workshop at Bewley’s Airport Hotel on Friday, June 22nd from (9.30am -Registration to 1.00pm). Ann Sheridan of UCD will also present on the Supported Socialisation ProjectWe will also have a presentation by Gemma Strachan on the innovative GP Exercise Prescribing Programme.

This workshop will be of interest to Mental Health Professionals, Service Users & Carers, Primary Care colleagues and NGO Partners. I would appreciate it if you could circulate this email and the link below to other colleagues who may wish to attend.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Mental Health Law Reform: New Perspectives & Challenges

Amnesty International Ireland and the Centre for Disability, Law and Policy at the School of Law NUI Galway you host a major international conference on mental health law reform on Saturday 23 June 2012.
The Department of Health is currently undertaking a review of the Mental Health Act 2001. The conference, Mental health law reform: new perspectives and challenges, will examine important issues relevant to this review, including Ireland’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This conference comes at a critical moment in the review of mental health legislation in Ireland.
Date: Saturday 23 June 2012
Venue: North Campus, NUI Galway
Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Speakers will include:
  • Professor Bernadette McSherry, Director, Centre for the Advancement of Law and Mental Health, Monash University, Australia
  • Professor Phil Fennell, Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University, Wales
  • Professor Amita Dhanda, Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad, India
  • Dr. Mary Donnelly, Senior Lecturer in Law, University College Cork
  • Ms. Roisin Webb BL, Children and Youth Policy Officer, Mental Health, Amnesty International Ireland
The conference will hear from an expert panel on mental health, which will involve inputs from experts by experience, academia, the perspective of family members, a lawyer and psychiatrist. The panel includes Dr. Gavin Davidson, Ms. Fionn Fitzpatrick, Ms. Áine Hynes, Dr. Brendan Kelly and Mr. Eddie Molloy.
There is a €20 conference fee. Places are limited so early registration is advisable. There is no fee for students, unwaged or persons in need of a fee waiver.
The venue is fully accessible.
Register at
Contact Elaine Keane for further information
E: or T: +353 (0)91 494270

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Your Voice, Your Choice. Consultation day, Tuesday 19th June, (places open).

What is Your Voice Your Choice?
This is an event organised by the National Disability Authority
This event is the forum announced by Kathleen Lynch, TD, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People
This event is about listening to your views on the issues that matter most to you in living with your disability

Who should come?
If you are:
A person with a disability
A parent/guardian/carer of a child or young person with a disability
An advocate for a person with a disability

Your Voice Your Choice is for You. People will attend in an individual capacity and not as a representative of any group.

Places are limited.  Please book early. We will do our best to let as many as possible attend but you must book your place.

When is it on? Tuesday 19 June 2012 from 11:30 to 15:30

Where is it on? Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, an accessible venue about 5 minutes from Heuston Station

What will happen on the day?
Your Voice Your Choice is about you having your say on what is important for you as a person with a disability.
We will work in small groups of about 8 people in each group. In the first half of the day, we want to listen to what you have to say about everyday life and what matters most to you
What’s the most important support you have for daily living?
What’s the biggest challenge that you face every day?
What’s good in your daily life but could be made better for you?
If you are the Minister and could fix just one thing – what would that be?

After lunch, we will have 4 workshops. Each workshop has a different topic. Choose the one that matters most to you. Places are limited but we will do our best to give you the workshop you want to go to.
We will end the day at 15:30.

Workshop 1- Becoming who I want to be
This workshop looks at what is important to you in making the most of your potential. This would include things like education and learning; health and well being; the world of work…and much more 

Workshop 2- Being treated equally
This workshop looks at what is important to you in being treated equally. This would include such things like attitudes; having accessible public services, access to information and public buildings; protection from abuse; mental health legislation and other laws; the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities…and much more

Workshop 3- Living the life I choose
This workshop looks at what is important to you in having choice and independence to live your life. This would include such things like advocacy; independent living; personalised budgets; having quality in services that support you; moving from institutional settings to a place that suits you…and much more

Workshop 4- Participating in the community
This workshop looks at what is important to you in being able to participate in the life of the community. This would include such things like accessible environments; transport; communications; inclusive communities; participating in sport and cultural life…and much more

What happens after this event?
We will take all your ideas and suggestions and write up a report. We will give the report to the Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People. This report will be important. It will help inform what needs to be done in the new Disability action plan called the National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan. We will also make copies of the report available on our website

This report will be about You, Your Voice Your Choice and what is important to you. The report will present peoples views and will not say who said what. Be free to say what you really think, because what you say will not affect the service you currently have.

Want to find out more?
If you would like to attend Your Voice Your Choice let us know by
Phone: Lo Call 1890 632 631

Places are limited. Make sure you let us know you would like to attend. We will do our best to facilitate as many as possible. We will also be organising other ways in which You can have Your Voice heard. Details will be on our website or LoCall 1890 632 631.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Critical Voices Network Ireland

Critical Voices Network Ireland national quarterly meeting is in Dublin this Saturday May 26th from 9.30 - 4.45pm.

This is an open invitation to those interested in progressing change within the mental health system in Ireland to join us for a energised event based around creative, dynamic and collective learning to look at how we can work together to progress alternatives, support current network initiatives, generate and record our ideas and progress the kinds of changes we want to see in the future. The day has been designed to maximise exploratory, creative group discussion time and collaborative sharing of ideas throughout.

Venue : Sophia Housing, Cork Street, Dublin 8 ( same as 2011
Access : 20 mins walk from Heuston Station/ Taxi will cost about €8/ Buses from city centre take about 15 mins max (27, 56a, 77a, 77n, 151 see:
Parking : On-street parking available at no charge on Saturdays.
Food : Snacks and a limited number of lunches available for purchase on site Sophia Cafe as well as local shops available on Cork St.
Cost : Contributions to cover costs appreciated as we are currently self-funding (€5 recommended minimum donation per person to cover venue rental & morning teas/coffees)

Creative, Critical and Collective Dynamism
09.30 - 10.30 Registration
10.30 - 11.00 Welcome, Orientation and Creative Opening
11.00 - 11.55 Exploratory Groups ~ Session 1
11.55 - 12.05 Exploring the space / groups / Ideas Line
12.05 - 13.00 Exploratory Groups ~ Session 2
13.00 - 13.45 Lunch
13.45 - 14.45 Exploratory Groups ~ Session 3
14.45 - 14.55 Comfort break
14.55 - 16.30 Plenary Forum: feedback from groups, matters arising, collective decision-making
16.30 - 16.45 Final thoughts & Creative Close

Exploratory Groups

CVNI Culture and Ethos
Exploring network communications culture online as well as reflecting upon and consolidating overall network culture, ethos, values and vision. Group will also be concerned with a final definition of the CVNI by-line/sub-title in terms of creative process and critical enquiry.
Developing Alternatives – current and future initiatives and projects:
Exploring current and upcoming opportunities for development of network related alternatives such as, but not limited to, Hearing Voices groups and training, WRAP, Ti Suaimhnis project, ongoing and new research proposals, Testimonials Project and many more... Bring your ideas, feedback and get involved!
Cultivating Activism
Exploring lobbying and activism ideas and opportunities to progress change but what changes are we seeking and how can we achieve it... this group will facilitate a collective analysis of power and explore our potential to influence and create change together .

We are using an adapted version of Open Space Technology for this event to help us to create a uniquely energised, dynamic and creative experience. We encourage participants to move around, exploring the spaces and different groups, engaging with others while contributing ideas through the group process, collaborating on the Ideas Line to inspire us over the day and record our ideas for the future (based in the central space - pick up your pegs at registration), engaging with Participation Ladders within the groups and/or spending time out as desired in reflection at any point in the designated Quiet Space upstairs.

We are looking forward to seeing as many like-minded creative and critical networkers as possible, so please help to spread the word and invite interested people and supporters.

If travellers need beds for Friday night in Dublin please email and we'll try and match people up as best we can. Car-pooling would be good too so offer up your spare seats to Dublin here!

Here's to a dynamic and creative day together :-)

CVNI East group
To subscribe to CVNI email send a blank message to
Email to entire group:

Free Spirt Festival

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Mindfulness Training and Self-Care for Mental Health Professionals

FREE: Counsellors/Community Caregivers working with voluntary agencies.
VENUE:         The Wisdom Centre, Cork Street, Dublin 8  
DATES:         Fridays, 6, 13, 20, 27 July and 3, 10, 17, 24 August
                   Participants are requested to attend at least six out of the eight weeks and to choose which session they wish to attend, either 10.30am-1pm or 2pm-4.30pm.
GROUP:        Small group 10-12 participants
TIMES:         10.30am to 1pm or 2.00pm to 4.30pm
HOURS:        20 contact hours, Certificate issued on completion of course
FEE:             Free to voluntary staff in community mental health projects
CONTACT:    Gerry Cunningham, MIAHIP, Member of Oxford University

Mindful Psychology in association with Oxford University: please note that the facilitator will be recorded during this training for supervision and research purposes.  Participants will not be identified on recordings and these recordings will be viewed by the clinical team at OMC Oxford.  
 Tel: 087 7989 301  |   E: info@mindfulpsychology.or
Programme Overview
This course combines the essential elements of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and is designed to support mental health professionals and carers to manage client impact, enhance self-care, prevent burnout and compassionate fatigue.   
Mindfulness is about learning to pay attention to our thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, the body and the world around us – an awareness of “present experience with acceptance” (Germer et al, 2005).   Participants are taught to observe their habitual automatic and unhelpful cognitive reactions while at the same time learning to interact with their thoughts and emotions in a less judgemental and more compassionate way.  Mindfulness reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that you can incorporate into daily living to help break the cycle of anxiety, stress, unhappiness and exhaustion. 
In MBCT programmes, participants meet together as a class (10-12 participants) 2.5 hours per week for eight weeks, plus one all day session between weeks 5 and 7.  We start by developing an awareness of what is happening in our experience.  We do this through mindfulness practices such as the body scan, mindful yoga, sitting meditation and being mindful of other activities such as walking or eating.  We learn how to be with our experience as it is, instead of pushing away unwanted thoughts, emotions or other experiences. The main “work” is done at home between classes.  There is a set of CDs to accompany the programme and notes.  In the classes, there is an opportunity to talk about your experiences with the home practices, the obstacles that inevitably arise and how to deal with them skillfully.
Over the eight weeks of the program, the practices help you:
  • to become familiar with the workings of your mind
  • to notice the times when you are at risk of getting caught in old habits of mind that re-activate downward mood spirals, rumination and self-destructive thoughts
  • to explore ways of releasing yourself from those old habits and, if you choose, enter a different way of being.
  • to lower levels of emotional distress and reduce levels of stress
  • to put you in touch with a different way of knowing yourself and the world
  • to notice small beauties and pleasures in the world around you instead of living in your head
  • to be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different all the time, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals.
  • to find a way so you don’t have to battle with yourself all the time
  • to accept yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself all the time
  • to notice the impact of client work and to develop the skills of attention and awareness to support effective self-care
Research shows that Mindfulness is enormously empowering for clients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for psychological problems such as anxiety, panic, stress and relapse prevention for clients in remission from depression or recovery from addiction.  Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was designed specifically to help people who are prone to recurring depression and low mood. 
Participants are required to make a commitment to attend at least six of the sessions and to choose which session they wish to attend, either 10.30am to 1pm or 2pm to 4.30pm.

Application forms and further details are available from Gerry Cunningham
Facilitator: Gerry Cunningham, MIAHIP – Tel: 087-7989 301 E:
Mindful Psychology in association with Oxford University: please note that the facilitator will be recorded during this training for the purpose of supervision and research.  Participants will not be identified on recordings and these recordings will be viewed by the OMC Oxford. 

Gerry Cunningham has been extensively trained in mindfulness-based approaches and studied for two years at Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University under the direction of Professor Mark Williams (MSt in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy). He has attended training in mindfulness and cognitive therapy with Dr. Zindel Segal, Dr. John Teasdale, Dr. Aaron Beck and mindfulness training retreats with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Jack Kornfield, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Christina Feldman and the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University.

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