Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Gateway celebration of light, song and community Thursday 17th December 2015

Gateway will celebrate light, music and community together at the Christmas Party on Thursday 17th December 2015 with fun, food and friends throughout the afternoon from 1.00-5.00pm.  Thanks to Dublin City Council for sponsoring this event. 

The plan for the day has been decided by members and includes:
1.00pm sharp: The Gateway Express choral group will open the afternoon with beautiful song
1.30pm:  A celebration of light will bring Gateway together in community and solidarity
2.00pm:  Clodagh and Maryam will delight on bongo and guitar
Drop in will come alive with music, food and member delights...
4.00pm onwards Carols with Clodagh
5.00pm Close & Farewell until new year

Gateway's secret santa will be chatting and sharing gifts amongst  members...  If you would like to bring a small wrapped gift with you for the Gateway gift sack, please do (of a value of no more than €5 folks) ;)

Just a reminder that Gateway's drop in will close at 5pm after the event and open again at 1pm on Thursday 7th January.

There are 6 community member run meet ups taking place as follows.  A coffee or tea is provided and it is a lovely opportunity for a chat with others, all welcome ~ enjoy!

Monday 21st December at Cafe Moda 2-4pm

Thursday 24th December at Starbucks 2-4pm

Saturday 26th December at Starbucks 2-4pm

Monday 28th December at Cafe Moda 2-4pm

Thursday 31st December at Cafe Moda 2-4pm

Monday 4th January at Cafe Moda 2-4pm

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

#Dignity - Stories From Gateway Members

Hi Everyone,

Here's another story from our #Dignity event.

This one was written by Gateway Member Yvonne, and is entitled 'Cousin'.

Yvonne: Cousin

Shortly after I got sick I went to a family wedding. After the meal I went to the bathroom. One of my cousins followed me outside.

He asked me “if I was alright”, he knew something was wrong. I started to cry but, he put his arm around me and led me around the corner of the lobby to sit down.

I told him what had happened to me and how I feeling, we had a long chat, he made me feel good about myself.  He told me “not to be afraid to ask for help because we all need help sometimes”.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Gateway Christmas Party 2015

Howdy all,

Our Gateway Christmas Party will be happening here at Parker Hill this Thursday, 17th December from 1pm to 5pm. Please see the attached flyer for details! We hope to see you all there!

And if you are a fairly new member and might be a bit nervous of coming along? Not to worry – I’m new to Gateway this year, and it will be my first Gateway Christmas party too, so you won’t be alone! :)

Should be a bit of craic!

All the best,

John M.


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

#Dignity - Stories from Gateway Members

Hello All,

Our next #Dignity Story is called Faint and was written by one of our members for the #Dignity event which was held here at Gateway.

I am in my father’s living room and I am gazing into the fire with the television over on my left.  I am deeply absorbed by the flames and I feel a sense of peace and warmth. Just as I stand up, the television seems to invade my mind - I feel a very strange inner phased electronic buzzing sound. It seems like my head is electrically charged. I get up after a brief moment of unconsciousness. A little concerned, I decide I should tell my father, who is in the other room, I want him to know in case he finds me out cold.

When he comes in, I tell him what just happened and he tells me how he thought I was a little too absorbed in the fire.  But there is more to tell him. And before doing so, I warn him that due to my heightened sensitivity and a feeling of general suggestibility, I believe it’s possible that I could actually lose consciousness while talking to him. 
He listens, calm and relaxed. I explain that this has not been the only time I’ve lost consciousness.  On a couple of occasions, I had entered what seemed like comatose states for longer or shorter periods of time.  States in which my sense of time was disturbed and I had no sense of life whatsoever.

As I say this - especially saying the word “comatose” I start to faint once more as I had expected. I was otherwise in good health, it seemed to be purely self-suggestion that made it happen.   
But he caught me with his love and with his arms, and I didn’t faint fully this time.  As it passed, I felt that the sharing of this experience with someone had actually helped me overcome the whole issue for once and for all.  He told me kindly that “he was probably more relaxed about these things than most people, and that I shouldn’t worry “. He had had his own fair share of suffering and I believe his insight into suffering was behind his reassurance.

With this simple statement of reassurance, he acknowledged my dignity and autonomy as a human being allowed to experience the drama of life, supported by others without the burden of   people’s worries:  A real dad.  I have had no more faints since. 

What I want people to know from this story:

When you are suffering from mental illness, people who care make all the difference. They can even make very nasty episodes turn into positive ones by their own positive engagement.  It is not hard to support someone with mental illness.  It’s just to be a friend and accept them for who they are.

Sometimes you are helping more than you realise and you are giving them the ticket to normality. The only diagnosis I have been given is “anxiety “. Although I seem to have experienced all kinds of conditions since this started.

I can say that, while some of it is terrifying and some of it is exhilarating, it is all a valid part of the human condition and needs acceptance like everything else.

We get “ill” when it’s too much to handle but we just need a little support. We are the same person, just struggling with huge stresses coming from our minds, from time to time.

Monday, 30 November 2015

December 2015 Newsletter and Schedule

Hi everyone,

Here is our last Newsletter and Schedule of 2015, as per usual more great work from the team!

Enjoy Folks, All the best!

John M.

December 2015 26-11-2015 AliEdit

December 2015

#Dignity - Stories From Gateway Members

Hello Everyone,

Up next in our member's #Dignity stories is a lovely piece by Gateway Member Mary.

Mary: The Warm Welcome

I was in a bad ‘aul place. I felt disconnected and alone. Not knowing where to turn, someone suggested gateway, a community project which was something different, and definitely something new for me.

As I got off the 16 bus and headed for Mount Drummond I was feeling nervous and excited at the same time.  Excited that this might be a place for me and also nervous that I mightn’t fit in.

Making my way through the gates and past the trees [I could see a colourful sign for gateway in a window on the ground floor.Looking in I could see people laughing and chatting around a big table.  Filled suddenly with anxiety, I turned to leave. 

I didn’t get far however before one of the project workers came out to ask my name.  Her welcoming approach put me at ease and I relaxed enough to follow her in for a cup of tea, where much to my relief everybody was just as kind and friendly.

Five years on I’m proud to say that I’m still a member of Gateway.  It’s my second home, a place where I can relax and be myself.  

Wouldn’t it be great if there were warm welcomes like this everywhere?

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

#Dignity - Stories from Gateway Members

Howdy all,

We will be posting member's stories from Gateway's #Dignity Workshop on the blog here.

It's really great inspirational stuff - have a read, see for yourselves!

Up first is 'The Stigma of Being Human' by Kevin.

Kevin: The Stigma of Being Human

Becoming very withdrawn at age 15, I was in a mind state of fear and negativity.  I couldn’t punch my way out of a paper bag.  I was very passive & would not or could not go to a doctor.  I was in a prison of the mind.

Then Success! At age 30 I finally found my feet with a course in Amenity Horticulture.  The identity of being both a student and gardener agreed greatly with me, giving me a role in this theatre of life, and the confidence to start thinking about how I could make positive progress on other areas.

For the first time since I was a child I had the confidence to go to the barber shop and take part in the everyday conversations held there.  Up until then my father had always cut my hair at home.  I remember feeling a glow, a halo, around my head coming out of the barbershop that day now that I had an identity, a trade of my own.  I even began to advertise in newspapers as a gardener and got work maintaining private gardens.

Looking to develop even more, aware that something was still amiss, I made up my mind to see a shrink.  I think the use of the word shrink for a psychiatrist is to do with the shrinking of an oversized ego through therapy, I read that somewhere.

In any case the Doctor got down to business.  After a few years in therapy, my progress was, to my mind poor as I still didn’t seem able to go out and socialise in the everyday world as I had hoped.
Looking back I believe the Doctors straight talking approach gave me a fair crack of the whip and I found his diagnosis helpful – throwing light on my life story up to that point.  I learned I was a solitary person with an emotionally withdrawn personality.  This did make sense to me.  I was advised that ‘I had to work on it,’ – a very sensible piece of advice.

Things eventually started to improve for me when I joined GROW Mental health, and over the years GROW,Gardening, Music, Gateway, Positive Psychology have all conspired to improve and enrich my like making it worth being human, worth living.

Educating Gateway - Planning for Gateway's Future

Howdy folks,
We will be running a planning workshop in the near future and would like you to get involved. Please see the attached flyer, we have 18 places available for this one so if you are interested, don't delay  - let us know and we'll put your name down on the list.

Cheers Folks

Monday, 23 November 2015

Important Conversations Group

Hi Folks,

Our next important conversations group will take place on Thursday 3rd December in Parker Hill from 5pm to 7pm, and will deal with the themes of Connecting and Gateway Networking.

Pizza and refreshments will be provided on the night. We have 18 places available for this one folks, so if you are interested in attending please let us know in the office and we will make sure your name is put down for it.

All the best folks,

John M.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Launch of the D12 Community Mental Health Forum - invitation to the community

The Dublin 12 Community Mental Health Forum is celebrating its official launch as part of a new initiative to progress positive mental health and recovery across the Dublin 12 community Wednesday 25th November from 10.00-12.00pm...

To celebrate the official launch of the Dublin 12 Community Mental Health Forum (D12CMHF), members and workers in the community are invited to join the Laughter Lunch with very special guest comedian and poet John Moynes, will take place on Wednesday morning, 25th November from 10.00am-12.00pm in Father Kitt Court, St Agnes Road, Crumlin Village and will include a light lunch.  The launch will also hear from guest speakers Orla Barry, Chief Executive of Mental Health Ireland, and former Director of Mental Health Reform.  Ms Barry will be joined by William Finnegan, a local person with lived mental health experience and D12 CMHF member.  See launch booklet below:

The D12 CMHF was established in November 2014 by a number of community, statutory and voluntary organisations in Dublin 12, Rathmines and Tallaght working collaboratively to promote positive mental health and advance recovery in the local community.  

Take a look at the blog for more information here: D12 Community Mental Health Forum

click here for google map

Monday, 16 November 2015

UCC Cork conference 'Critical Perspectives on and Beyond the Therapy Industry' WEBCASTS

Last week a group from Gateway attended the UCC Cork conference 'Critical Perspectives on and Beyond the Therapy Industry' in University College Cork, Ireland on 11th & 12th  November 2015. It was both a stimulating and fun experience and great to go again as a group. Thanks to DCC for helping us to fund this trip through a small community grant.

For those who are interested and fancy learning more, the organisers have just uploaded the keynote presentations online, click on the link here to see the webcasts and other information relating to the conference this year:



Wednesday, 11 November 2015

CAN2 Event

Hi All

Please see attached invitation to the next CAN2 event on Tuesday 24th of November.

CAN2 is a Canal Communities Local Drug & Alcohol Task Force funded initiative to provide training, education, and an opportunity for networking to the staff of the local projects.

Our guest speakers for this event will be:

Dr Claire McMoreland,
Clinical Psychologist from Headway who will talk about Alcohol Related Brain Injury, and

Denis O'Driscoll,
Senior Pharmacist with the HSE Addiction Services, who will talk about how alcohol reacts with other drugs in the body.

As usual we will be hosting our networking lunch from 12.30pm. Hope to see you there!

Please RSVP at your earliest convenience

Kind regards
Emma Fox
Project Development Worker
Canal Communities Regional Addiction Service       
Oblate View, Third Floor
Tryconnell Road
Dublin 8
Tel: 086 3845565

CAN2 Alcohol V2

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Introduction to App Design and Development for Mobile Phones

Hi everyone,

Please find attached a flyer for a course that is starting on Friday 20th November in Fr. Kitt Court, Crumlin Village, Dublin 12.

The course is an introduction to App Design and Development for Mobile Phones. It takes place over 4 sessions 2pm-4pm from Friday 20th November to Friday 11th December. No IT or previous experience is necessary. Registration is required and we will be prioritising young unemployed people from the CCP areas of Dublin 4, 6, 6W, 8 and 12.

The office number is 4095082. They will be the main contacts for registration for this course.

Please give me a call if you’ve any questions,


Introduction to App Development Nov15

Cork Critical Perspectives Conference Live Streaming

Dear All

Apologies for cross posting.

For those of you not attending the above annual critical perspective conference this Wednesday and Thursday, you may be interested to watch the keynotes which are being streamed live.

Please use the following link

Alternatively, follow the links below:

09:45 David Pilgrim
An Honorary Professor of Health; Social Policy at the University of Liverpool and Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Southampton. His career has been divided between working as a policy researcher and as a clinical psychologist in the British NHS.
  Live Stream Link

12:00 Dina Poursanidou
A Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, based at the Service User Research Enterprise; Dina has used mental health services since 2008; Member of Asylum, the magazine for democratic psychiatry.
  Live Stream Link

13:45 Malcolm Garland
A consultant psychiatrist in Dublin. His team tries to incorporate novel and alternative approaches, including a minimal medication approach and an ethos fostering individuation, not dependence.
  Live Stream Link

Thursday 12 November:

09:45 Jacqui Dillon
is a respected speaker, writer and activist, who has lectured and published worldwide on trauma, psychosis, dissociation and recovery. Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England.
  Live Stream Link

10:30 Wilma Boevink
An experiential expert, social scientist at the Trimbos-Institute, the Netherlands. Former Professor of Recovery and founder of Tree (towards Recovery, Empowerment and Experiential Expertise).
  Live Stream Link

13:45 Rory Doody
A Recovery Development Advocate. He is a voice hearer and engages with his own mental health as often as he breathes! Plagued by inner questions like “who does this serve?” he enquires in the different areas of his work, involving education, case work, service and policy developments, structural change, and good intentions.
  Live Stream Link

Plenty of conference information (e.g. programme and Book of Abstract) on


Harry Gijbels and Lydia Sapouna (recently re-constructed and being further developed, thanks to Gordon Lucas)

Staring into each other's eyes...

Hello Everyone!

Here's a bit of member-written content, supplied by Gateway Member Nessa J. It's a piece on the Dublin leg of The World's Largest Eye Contact Experiment. Sounds really interesting! Enjoy!

Staring Into each other’s Eyes…

With kind permission and by mutual consent, I was allowed to share facetime with two total strangers. By appointment at 5pm on an October evening,  a random group of likeminded individuals collected at the top of Grafton Street as part of the World’s Largest Eye Contact Experiment. This was the Dublin leg of similar gatherings taking place in many cities across the world. Treacy O’Connor was responsible for organising the Dublin event using facebook.

On arrival, the paving was arrayed with blankets, mats and potential partners. There was certainly an international feel and ease about this arrangement which so naturally occurred. Instead of the sometimes aggression you encounter in centre city, a palpable calm descended as if by magic while people paired up. Firstly, I sat down and stared into the eyes of a big-eyed open-hearted long-haired tall girl for a prolonged session that well-exceeded the one minute. The effect was actually remarkable.

Principally, there was no talking, some smiling, plenty of deep stare, and surprisingly little looking away. The air was lovely and fresh down there on the ground in the shadow of St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. She quite simply let it be.

The speed of my personal refection must have kick-started as I turned over a rapid succession of thought in the girl’s gaze. At the end, I actually felt I had dumped on her whereas she seemed okay about it.  As for herself, I had of course no idea what she was thinking about!  She assured me it was quality.

My second dalliance took place with a sandy-haired ‘schoolboy’ who likewise had plenty of experience at providing this kind of care. Despite the cameras, an ambulance and a bloke next door explaining how his life is, like, really busy - at which we laughed through our eyes ‘that guy obviously doesn’t know the rules here’.

I left with the distinct idea that this world is really changing for the better; these people must do this kind of thing a lot; and we must do this more often , which is the same thought all rolled into one if you think about it. My evening was transformed by the sudden and unexpected connection.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

November 2015 Monthly Schedule and Newsletter

Hello all!

Here is this month's Newsletter and Schedule.



November 2015

November 2015

Monday, 2 November 2015

Music in Mind Vocal Group at Gateway

Hello everyone!

So…any singers among you lot???

Our new Music in Mind Vocal Group will be starting on Wednesday the 18th! Fancy having a go?? I’ve attached the flyer for this event to this email.

Have a look, see what you think. Let us know if you’re interested and we’ll get your name down for it.

All the best folks,

John M.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Gateway Newsletter and Schedule for October 2015

Hi Everyone,

Here is this months Schedule and newsletter, Enjoy!

October 2015 Newsletter

October 2015

Monday, 28 September 2015

Table Quiz at the Village Inn

Hi all,

Please see attached invitation to a table quiz we are having on Thursday 8th October in aid of Crumlin MHA. I will be there helping out, it’s usually good craic.

Ronan Mulhern | Supervisor-In-Charge

 EVE Cherryfield
Whitehall Square, Quarry Drive, Walkinstown, Dublin 12 | Tel +353 (0) 1 450 0029/4034 | Fax +353 (0)1 409 7880 | | Blog:

Table Quiz Poster

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Your help needed for mental health funding

As you know, there's not long left until Budget Day.  Please show the Government you care about mental health funding by signing this petition and sharing it with your contacts as widely as you can:

Many thanks on behalf of Gateway,

Fionn Fitzpatrick
Project Co-ordinator

Gateway Mental Health Association
Unit 1, 2 Parker Hill, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Gateway Mobile:  085 7521220  /  Office: 01 4977 005
Project Co-ordinator: 085 8776001
Email: / 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Film & Leadership at Gateway

Gateway members will be creating a fab short film over the autumn and winter months through our new Film-making and Leadership Programme supported by Dublin Bus

Please note, places are limited and only open to current Gateway members at this time but watch this space for new courses starting later in the year ;)

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Certificate in Mental Health in the Community and Diploma in Autism Studies

UCC  are delighted to be offering two of our most popular adult education programmes in Dublin this coming September:

1.      Diploma in Autism Studies – Level 7 NFQ

2.      Certificate in Mental Health in the Community – Level 6 NFQ (developed in association with Mental Health Ireland.

Further details can be found below in our e-flyer.

Both run in the evening time, one evening per week with an occasional Saturday €990 per annum.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Martha Griffin | Dublin |ACE (Centre for Adult Continuing Education), University College Cork | Cork, Ireland | Tel 021 4904719 |  Adult Continuing Education| |UCC

Dublin e Flyer

September 2015 Newsletter and Schedule

Hello Everyone,

More stellar work from the Newsletter team this month, aswell as our monthly schedule. Enjoy!

September 2015 Newsletter

September 2015

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Gateway gets into action and the media alongside other Mental Health Reform volunteers

Gateway supports launch of MHR pre-budget submission and campaign on Tuesday 26th August.

Invest in My Mental Health 25.08.15 IT Article

We also had a chance to get our voices on the radio...
"Though this launch had a broader remit… both Fionn and Yvonne spoke fantastically about the benefits of the Gateway project and Community Based Peer support, as well as the very urgent need for adequate funding here!" ~ John Kelly, Gateway's Development Worker - please note that the interview starts 2hr 12min into the show but you can just fast forward.

Also we got into the health section of the Independent today - see pic below "Speaking their minds".

Check out for other ways you can support the campaign and sign the petition

Well done and thanks to everyone!!!

Fionn ;)

Monday, 17 August 2015

Gateway Updates

Dear Gateway Members, friends and supporters,

We are pleased to inform you that Gateway’s transfer from our former host the Rathmines Pembroke Community Partnership, to our new administrative home under Mental Health Ireland is now complete as of 1st July 2015.

It has been a bittersweet and challenging time for our project over the last few months but also one of renewal and growth as we look forward to developing new opportunities for wellbeing and recovery in the community alongside our collaborators and partners.
We have also moved our office to Gateway’s drop-in centre at Unit 1, 2 Parker Hill, Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6 and can be contacted by phone on (01) 4977005 and 085 7521220 and email on  See attached information leaflet for more details.

Despite the recent upheavals, we are bouncing back with great resilience and style.  Check out Project Worker Ali Rochford’s inspiring piece for the Sunday Independent recently ‘Gateway to Health’ which has helped connect more people with our group and each other.  Ali is working to promote recovery across the community through WRAP and bringing her knowledge and skills as a
trainer with Gateway to the assistance of other groups.

We are proud to say that members' drop-in days, courses and community based activities have been proceeding with commitment and energy and 8 new members finding us in July.  We have just concluded a WRAP level 1 course and have begun a new collaboration with the National Concert Hall called Music in Mind.  Exciting and new learning options will be starting in the autumn so watch the blog and these updates for more details.

Members have been busy out and about with various social and recreational activities all summer, staying connected with local café meet ups and speaking about needs and interests from the peer perspective with National Director of Mental Health, Ms Anne O’Connor most recently and through other groups like Mental Health Reform and service user events like the recent Our Service, Our Say consultation.

Thank you all again for your support over the last few months – it is vital to our success as a peer run member led community project and is greatly appreciated!

Please keep an eye on the Gateway blog for updates, newsletters and more.

Best wishes,
The Gateway Team

Gateway Mental Health Association
Unit 1, 2 Parker Hill, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Gateway Mobile:  085 7521220  /  Office: 01 4977 005

Current Gateway Team:
Fionn Fitzpatrick Project Co-ordinator
John Kelly Development Worker 
John Murray Admin Support Worker 
Ali Rochford Project Worker & WRAP 
Mary Barnes Project Worker 
Tom Manning Project Worker 
Deirdre Harte Project Worker 

Gateway is a community development peer support project proudly supported by its Advisory Committee, a collaborative partnership of representatives from Gateway, the HSE, Dublin City Council, Disability Federation Ireland, International Initiative of Mental Health Leadership, Mental Health Ireland, Mental Health Reform, Shine and The City of Dublin Education & Training Board.


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Gateway Newsletter and Monthly Schedule August 2015

Hey folks, here is our new Newsletter and Schedule for the month of August. More Stellar work from the team!

UPDATED Gateway Newsletter August 2015 27July2015

August 2015

Monday, 27 July 2015

Gateway's Ali Rochford talks about an organisation that offers unconditional support when the going gets tough.

Hello everyone,

Here is a link to an excellent interview with our very own Ali Rochford that appeared in the Sunday Independent LIFE magazine yesterday. Ali speaks here of her own experiences, about WRAP and about The Gateway Project. It's a pretty inspirational read from a very brave and special woman. Please take the time to have a read.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Book Review by Gateway Member Nessa Jennings: The Man Who Couldn't Stop : OCD, and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, David Adams. (Picador 2014)

Hi everyone,

Below is a thorough book review by one of our members, Nessa Jennings.

 The Man Who Couldn't Stop : OCD, and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, David Adams. (Picador 2014)

Imagine being able to pinpoint precisely the moment you developed a serious mental illness. David Adams locates his trigger in 1986 and a radio report about the explosion of AIDS. From that moment on, his life turned to obsession with contracting the deadly disease, involving all expected prevention rituals. His life no longer his own, there followed decades filled with personal anguish. Holding himself personally responsible for the immediate spread of AIDS all the time mentally incapacitated him. He was locked into repetitive hygiene routines, extremely unhealthy trapped thought.

He likens this to a window on your computer that cannot close. Right there, as an ever-present persecutor lurking and looming in a corner of the mind. Any other activities are nevertheless possible but seriously impaired by the same obsessive thought. After you shut down at night for sleep, the next day, and every day there it is, the exact same open window to torment all your waking hours. The more you try to push it down and try not to think about it, the stronger it comes back. This is the very nature of thought. The saddest fact is, David Adams says, not to have enjoyed a moment of free contemplation since that day.

There is no such thing as a little bit OCD he insists. Bizarre detailed behaviours are often portrayed in a humorous way. The aunt endlessly knitting tea cosies in production-line fashion; the lady in New York City continuously ordering Chinese take-outs only to be overtaken by the collection of the containers the food comes in. It is easy to poke fun at these tendencies carried out to the extreme. However, the reality for a constant hand-washer can be hours lost daily in say six hours thinking about it and three more at the sink.

The negative impact of these thoughts ruins a person’s inner life, by causing them persistent distress during a significant part of every day. The rituals appear outwardly, carried out in an attempt to efface the chronic unease of the obsession. Spontaneous recovery from OCD is rare, about one in ten, and the disease is highly resistant to treatment. David Adams continues his treatment, a combination of medication and cognitive behaviour therapy. He functions better these days after many years of extreme obsession. He admits he still has the illness.

 Other forms of the illness are hoarding and Body Dysmorphic disorder. OCD is not often discussed in the treatment room. It carries a lot of shame for the sufferer, so has can go undiagnosed and untreated for a long time. Alongside the deep shame of admitting it, many survive with the belief they are not doing anything unusual at all, content with trying to control threats in their environment by keeping things ordered and excluding dangers.

Those suffering from body dysmorphia might be afraid they are just very vain. It’s much more serious than that, says the author, this perceived on going obsession about how a certain part of the body is ugly, carries the highest risk of suicide. For example, take the very sad case of a one teenager with body dysmorphia and couldn’t tell anyone about his image obsession. In trying to set up his facebook page he needed a photograph, and started to try to take numerous selfies, was never satisfied.

He took his own life because he couldn’t get the right photo of himself for his profile picture. Body Dysmorphia sufferers are likely to remain single and if married, less likely to have children, according to the author. So we can see that the distorted sense of body image can seriously hinder the person’s life path.

OCD can be latent in certain individuals, lying dormant in them until triggered by a stressful life event. It is most commonly seen to arise in the mid to late teens, though it can arise at any age. The author gives the example of the school pupil who felt rejected and ostracised. Looking around the assembly hall feeling cast out by classmates, mostly by his friends, he reports: “Instead of crying. I started to count”. This is the precise moment of arrival of this monster of a mental illness.

The laying bare of this illness and exposition of OCD by using examples in a thorough examination of the author’s own particular painful existence, brought on by media accounts of the disease AIDS in the 1980s must have important implications for psychiatry. David Adams calls for mental health professionals to ask patients to identify the significant sand meaningful episodes in their life history. Understanding the triggers could be key to more accurate diagnosis and effective treatments.

Very well written Nessa, Well Done!


Hello everyone, thank you all for bearing with us while we got our new office set up! We’re just about back up and running so thank you for your patience!

We have a couple of changes for the remainder of the monthly schedule, So I have attached a new copy to this post.

WEDNESDAY 29TH CAFÉ MODA meet up with Dee H and Mary Q – if successful, the same will be held on the last Wednesday of every month.

3RD AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY – Phyllis will be at Café Moda from 1pm for a bank holiday meet-up. Feel free to drop in for a coffee and a chat!

FRIDAY BOOK CLUB – Linda will be at Café Moda at 1pm every Friday for book club. Bring along your favourite book for a chat and a coffee with other eager readers!

All the best,

John M, Gateway Team.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Local Solstice Wellbeing Event on Sunday 21st June in Griffith Park at 4.45pm

Hi all,

21st June, 2015.
Solstice Wellbeing Day

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and traditionally is a day of celebration in Irish culture.  The moment of the Solstice is the time when the sun is at its height.   Mental Health Ireland  aim to create a new celebration at the moment of the Solstice, a simple action, accessible to everyone, which will enhance positive mental health and wellbeing.
You might not realise but the Summer solstice occurs in Ireland at exactly 5.38 p.m.!
It is at this moment on our Solstice Wellbeing Day, we plan to  read a passage, light a candle and invite everyone to mark the moment by reflecting on the past year and making a wellbeing intention for the coming year.

Our Local Solstice  Event

The local Mental Health Association are having a local Solstice  event beginning at 4.45pm in Griffith Park (  Also known as Tolka Park) We will assemble at the Millmount entrance, not far from Drumcondra Library and Millmount Clinic.
We will walk along the river in the park.          
At 5.30 we gather near the large flower beds and have some readings, a few songs from special guest artists.
We will light our  Solstice Candle.
We will continue our celebration with a cuppa in the nearby Skylon hotel.

Can you let me know if you or people you know are attending this special event

Jim Owens

Best wishes
Jim Owens
On behalf of Drumcondra  and District Mental Health Association
01 8842416

Thursday, 11 June 2015

‘A Public Lecture’ by Professor Gail A. Hornstein, Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts, USA).

Hi all

The Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing (IIMHN), in conjunction with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin is pleased to announced ‘A Public Lecture’ to be given by Professor Gail A. Hornstein, Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts, USA). The event will take place on Thursday, June 25 2015, 3.30-4.30pm. 

To reserve a place at this event please contact Jeni Ryan @

Professor Hornstein’s research on the contemporary history and practices of psychology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis has been supported by visiting fellowships to Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, London, Durham, and Nottingham, and her articles and opinion pieces have appeared in many scholarly and popular publications. Her book, ‘Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness’, shows how the insights of people diagnosed with ‘psychosis’ can challenge fundamental assumptions about madness, treatment, and mental life.

Gail’s Bibliography of ‘First-Person Narratives of Madness in English’, now in its 5th edition with more than 1,000 titles, is used internationally by educators, clinicians, and peer organizations. She has worked closely with psychiatric survivor groups for the past decade, organised and co-facilitated one of the USA’s first hearing voices peer-support groups, and speaks widely about mental health issues across the US, UK, and Europe. She and Jacqui Dillon (Chair of HVN in England) have just received a major grant from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care to expand hearing voices groups across the USA and to research the mechanisms by which such groups work.

This talk seeks to open up discussions of mental health and break out of narrow, pathologising categories. The reframing of more and more actions, feelings, and perceptions as brain-based disorders is eroding our capacity to understand ourselves and to assess and cope with life’s challenges. Key studies by the World Health Organization demonstrate far better mental health in ‘developing countries’ than in those considered more ‘developed’, even as Western psychiatry’s biological model is increasingly exported to the rest of the world. By highlighting the importance of lived experience and our own ways of making sense of ourselves, we can develop alternative models that are empowering and useful in our everyday lives and do justice to the resilience and adaptability that are key aspects of human psychology.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Good Mood Festival in Outhouse, Saturday 13th June.

Hello Everyone,

SeeChange invites you to the Good Mood Festival in Outhouse this Saturday 13th June. Please share this with your friends, family also, everybody is welcome!

Hope to see you Saturday!

Please click on the following links for more information:

or contact Laura Lousie Condell at

Monday, 8 June 2015

Free Guided Dodder River Birds Walk with BirdWatch Ireland June 13th 2015

Hi Everyone,

Free Family Activity on the River Dodder, 2pm Dropping Well Pub  Carpark, Miltown Road, Dublin 6.

Get Involved in Nature Conservation.  

On June 13th Dublin City Council invite you to join experts from BirdWatch Ireland to look for
sightings of river birds on the Dodder.

At this time of the year the Dodder is a vibrant place for river birds flying up and down to their
nests and feeding sites.

It is also a home to an array of wild flowers, the Otter and  Atlantic Salmon. Learn to identify with
confidence birds like the Heron, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, Dipper, Cormorant and Sand Martin.

Dublin City Council Biodiversity team will also help  you to understand the wonders of the  river bank wetland habitat and the invasive species, like the Himalayan Balsam that threaten it.

Click below to see detailed information about activities
The link to DCC site is

Biodiversity Events | Dublin City Council
It will be also posted on the DCC  homepage from next Tues  2nd May
Welcome to Dublin City Council | Dublin City Council

Thanks  a million,
Niamh Ni Cholmain
Biodiversity Facilitator for Community Engagement
Biodiversity Unit,
Parks and Landscape Services,
Culture Recreation Amenity and Community,
Dublin City Council.

Friday, 5 June 2015

The Wonderful Rathmines Garden Trail this weekend!

Calling all nature lovers, gardening gurus and interested members of the public!

This Saturday (6th June) sees the return of the wonderful Rathmines Garden Trail organised by the Rathmines Initiative which gives an opportunity to visit and enjoy many of the beautiful private gardens cultivated by local residents.

All proceeds will be kindly donated to Gateway Project so please pop along for an enriching horticultural experience and in support of our growing project.

Come rain or shine the Garden Trail is one to enjoy this weekend!

~ Fionn & Gateway 



June 2015 Newletter and Schedule

Hello everyone,

Below is Gateway’s newsletter and schedule for this month.

Please note that drop-in will be CLOSED until June 15 to help us facilitate staff training and planning for our transition to Mental Health Ireland.

Member meet ups are taking place on Monday 1st, Thursday 4th, Monday 8th and Thursday 11th in Cafe Moda from 2-4pm.  Join members for a cuppa and a chat.

All the best,

John, Gateway Team.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

First Fortnight Table Quiz!

First Fortnight will be hosting their 3rd annual fundraising table quiz on Thursday the 4th of June, at 7pm, in dTwo on Harcourt Street.

This event will be hosted by comedian Eleanor Tiernan and will be a fun event with great prizes up for grabs, finger food, a raffle and random spot prizes!

Tickets are priced at €40 for a table of four, and can be pre-booked by clicking HERE.

First Fortnight is a charity based, volunteer run organisation that strives to challenge mental health prejudice and stigma through the creative arts. Click HERE to visit their webpage and find out more.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Voting Tips!

Hi Everyone,

A very interesting article on  written by Aidan Coughlan about handy tips to use when voting.

For instance, did you know that If you are wearing a badge with either 'Vote YES' or 'Vote NO' when you attend the polling station to vote, that you may actually be asked to remove it before you can vote?? As strange as that sounds, there is actually a law against anything being displayed within a polling station that encourages people to vote for one side or the other - so leave the badges at home!

There is also some very useful information about what kind of identification and proof of address that might be needed when voting.

Its a great little read, click HERE to read the full article.

WRAP workshop starting 26th May

Hi everyone,

For those of you who were unable to secure a place on Gateway's WRAP course you may be interested to know that there is a 4 Day WRAP Workshop starting on Tuesday 26th May, being run by the Respond Housing Association.

Please see the flyer below for further details.

Ard Mor WRAP Level 1 Flier

Monday, 18 May 2015

First Conference Announcement: Critical Perspectives on and Beyond the Therapy Industry, Cork Ireland 11 and 12 November



11 AND 12 NOVEMBER 2015


‘Talking’ therapies have become increasingly central in dealing with all aspects of human life. This trend is now generally referred to as the ‘therapy industry’ (Moloney, 2013). This conference, now in its 7th year, aims to explore and debate critical perspectives on:

-       The value of talking therapies
-       The politics of the therapy industry
-       Talking therapies as another expert system
-       Other ways (beyond therapies) to support people in distress

Confirmed Keynote Speakers  
Wilma Boevink is an experiential expert, who works as a social scientist at the Trimbos-Institute, the Netherlands. She is a former Professor of Recovery and founder of Tree (towards Recovery, Empowerment and Experiential Expertise). Currently finishing her thesis on recovery, empowerment and experiential expertise.

Lucy Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of 'Users and abusers of psychiatry',
co-editor of 'Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people's problems' and ‘A straight-talking guide to psychiatric diagnosis’, along with a number of other critical texts on mental health theory and practice. She is currently based in a mental health service in South Wales.

Jacqui Dillon is a respected speaker, writer and activist, who has lectured and published worldwide on trauma, psychosis, dissociation and recovery. Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England, Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health, Durham University and Visiting Research Fellow at The Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University.
Malcolm Garland is a consultant psychiatrist in Dublin.  His team tries to incorporate novel and alternative approaches, including a minimal medication approach and an ethos fostering individuation, not dependence. He is concerned with the slow uptake of a non-“bio” approach by psychiatry, but understands the pressure teams are under to keep people “safe” and the conflicts this creates. He thinks psychiatrists may soon be on the “endangered species” list…

Rory Doody is a Recovery Development Advocate. He is a voice hearer and engages with his own mental health as often as he breathes! Plagued by inner questions like “who does this serve?” he enquires in the different areas of his work, involving education, case work, service and policy developments, structural change, and good intentions. As a ‘poacher turned game keeper’ with 20+ years of service user history, this question also serves as a check against his own personal motives.

Dina (Konstantina) Poursanidou is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, based at the Service User Research Enterprise; Dina has used mental health services since 2008; Member of Asylum, the magazine for democratic psychiatry; integrates an interest in the socio-cultural determinants of distress and socio-political action on the one hand, with an interest in the human subject at a more intimate and individual level on the other.

Call for Oral Presentations/Workshops (45 minutes’ duration): Please submit an abstract (in Word - 250 words max) related to the conference theme and outlining its aims and intentions by 7 September 2015. Please also submit a brief bio (in Word - 150 words max).

Email abstract and bio to Inquiries to or 

Registration details will be circulated in early September 2015.
The Conference organisers are Harry Gijbels, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland.  

Friday, 15 May 2015

Partial Capacity Benefit scheme - feedback requested by Dept of Social Protection

The Department of Social Protection has commenced a review of the Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB) Scheme with a view to enhancing the Scheme. 

An important part of the review is consultation with stakeholders including PCB recipients. 

They would welcome your views on the operation of the PCB scheme to date and, in particular, consideration / commenting on the following:
(i)  The qualification conditions.
(ii) The application process.
(v) Knowledge of the scheme.
(iii) Client satisfaction with the scheme
(iv) Barriers to applying for PCB: why clients don’t apply/pursue application?

They would like feedback by 29 May 2015.

Just email to pass along your comments or email directly.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

upcoming CE Project Worker position through Gateway goes live today 21st May!

Dear Members and Friends,

We have a Project Worker position becoming available through Gateway’s CE scheme which some of you might be interested in.

For more information click on Community Employment (CE) and Job & Person Spec for Gateway

If interested in applying, it is very important that you check in with your local INTREO office (local social welfare office) beforehand to see if you are eligible  – list of offices here:

It is also advisable to inform yourself about how a change to CE would affect your current and future social welfare payment if you were successful.  We advise phoning the head office of your social welfare payment section (see list below and here) to ask how the CE payment would affect your social welfare payment including any secondary benefits. 

How do I apply?

First Steps:
1.    Read the information about the job and community employment.
2.    Check  for the Project Worker for Gateway Mental Health Association. Advertised from today Thursday 21st May until 5th June.
3.    Make a note of the job reference code: Ref. ES-940009.
4.    Contact INTREO/ Employment Services Office about the job and tell them the job reference code you want to apply for.
5.   Arrange a meeting with the Employment Services Officer and ask to be put forward for referral to the CE Scheme Sponsor. (Again a list of these offices are here:
6. Candidates on the referral list will be contacted by Fionn in early June for shortlisting and to submit their CV and cover letter.

Follow On Steps:
  • Update your CV and write a letter of application for the position.  NOTE: This is not needed for INTREO but later on for shortlisting.
  • If on the referral list, you will be contacted and asked to provide your current CV and letter of application according the the job spec in June.
  • Shortlisting will be done on the basis of the letter of application and CV received by 12th June.
  • If shortlisted, an interview will be offered to you and will take place in mid June with Fionn and Siobhan the CE Supervisor and one other.
  • If successful, the new Project Worker will start on Monday 27th July.

Please be aware that the job will be open to applications from 21st May – Friday 5th June 2015 only. 

If anyone needs a hand with their CV, I would advise approaching your local employment service as they can be very helpful and supportive ( )

Best wishes and good luck to everybody interested,

Fionn Fitzpatrick
Gateway Development Worker

Department of Social Protection - Head Offices List
Services: Longford Social Welfare Services
Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford.
Opening Hours: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Tel: (043) 3340000 / (01) 704 3000
>Invalidity Pension
> Disablement Benefit
> Carer's Allowance
> Carer's Benefit
> Bereavement Grant
> Family Income Supplement - FIS
> Rent Allowance De-Control of Rents
> Disability Allowance
Aras Mhic Dhiarmada
Store Street, Dublin 1.
Tel: (01) 6797777
> Illness Benefit Enquires
Tel: (01) 7043000
> Office of the Minister
> Office of the Secretary General
> Budget and Finance
> Occupational Injuries Benefit
> Press Office
> EU/International Policy
> Policy and Planning Unit
> Facilities Management Unit
> Family Affairs Unit
> Personnel
> Medical Care
Social Welfare Services
Dept. of Social Protection
McCarter's Road, Ardarvan, Buncrana, Co. Donegal.
Lo-Call: 1890690690 (Republic of Ireland only)
If calling from outside Ireland, Please call (01) 4715898
> Maternity Benefit
> Adoptive Benefit
> Health and Safety Benefit
> PRSI Records
> EU/International Records
> Homemakers
Social and Family Support Services (SFSS)
Department of Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.
> Client Identity Services (01) 7043281
> Decisions Advisory Office (071) 9672500
Freedom of Information
> Employment Support Services (071) 9672500
> Maintenance Recovery Unit (071) 9672500
> Back to Work Allowance (071) 9672594
> Back to Education Allowance (071) 9672531
St Alphonsus Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Tel: (042) 9392600
> Accounts Branch
Gandon House
Amiens Street, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 7043000
> Office for Social Inclusion
Goldsmith House
Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 7043000
> Office of the Director General
> Buisness Information Security Unit
> Management Services Unit
> Risk Management Support Unit
Social Welfare Services
St. Oliver Plunkett Road, LetterKenny, Co. Donegal
> Child Benefit - Lo-Call: 1890400400
> Treatment Benefit: Dental/Optical/Hearing Aids Lo-Call: 1890400400
Oisin House
212-213 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
> Scope (insurability of Employment) (01) 6732585
> PRSI Refunds (01) 6732586
Social Welfare Services
College Road,
Telephone Lo-Call: 1890 500000 or (071) 9157100 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)
> State Pensions
> Blind Pension
> One-Parent Family Payment
> Window's or Windower's Pensions
> Widowed Parent Grant
> Guardians Payments
> Supplementary Welfare Allowance
> Free Travel
> Household Benefits
> Project Office
> Internal Audit
> Bereavement Grant
> Information Services Lo-Call: 1890 662244
OPFP or your Local Social Welfare Office ~ Contact your Local Comunity Welfare Officer
Where the deceased person was in receipt of a payment from SWS, Sligo or was a qualified adult or a qualified child.

Social Welfare Services
Goverment Offices, Cork Road, Waterford
Tel: Waterford (051) 356000/(01) 7043000
> Self Employment Section
> Special Collection
> Voluntary Contributions Section
> International Records

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