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.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

My Mind Counselling Service

My Mind is a counsellling service based in Ranelagh and are offering 5 sessions to gateway members for €10 for each session.

For more information contact Mary Barnes on 01 4965558.

Gateway does not endorse any particular therapy and respects the choice of Gateway members.

The counselling is funded by  ESB electric aid fund.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

'Because Culture Belongs to Us'



Because Culture Belongs to Us

Art Exhibition and Cultural Event showing work by students in CDVEC Community Education classes in Dublin 2,4,6, and 8 

The Coach House
Dublin Castle

8th - 10th May 2012  

Opening Hours

Tuesday 8th May 2012 - 3.00pm to 5.00pm
Wednesday 9th May 2012 - 11.00am - 4.30pm 
Thursday 10th May 2012 - 11.00am - 3.30 pm 

Special Events 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 
12.00pm Choir Performance 
1.00pm - 2.00pm Drama and Storytelling 

Disabled parking and wheelchair access available. 

Please contact Aine on 087 3792057 or at for wheelchair access or to book a group visit. 


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