We are committed to advocating at a national level for a society in which the rights of those experiencing mental health difficulties are acknowledged and in which the stigma attached to mental health issues is combated.
To address this issue and increase awareness of mental health, we produce and distribute information leaflets on the subject while also using print and broadcast media interviews to advocate on behalf of those with mental health issues.
We have continued to develop constructive relationships with the relevant authorities such as the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive and the Mental Health Commission. In conjunction with three other organisations, we helped to form the Independent Health Service Providers’ Group, later becoming its representative on the Independent Monitoring Group (IMG) which champions the ‘Vision for Change’ initiative. The Mental Health Commission has recommended that ‘creative ways of involving the independent/private sector in public sector (mental health) projects should be explored’. For our part, we will continue to explore every available avenue in our drive to promote a better public understanding of mental health in Ireland and we have established links with a number of advocacy and service user groups towards this end.
Stigma is the use of negative labels to identify people with mental health problems. It has its roots in fear and misunderstanding. St. Patrick's Mental Health Services is committed to ensuring that people with mental health difficulties must enjoy the same rights on an equal basis with everyone without discrimination.
Service users often identify stigma as one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with mental health difficulties. Stigma is a barrier to people seeking help and to understanding mental health problems. We are committed to actively promoting the understanding and de-stigmatisation of mental health issues both locally and nationally.
St. Patrick’s anti-stigma initiatives include;
- Walk in My Shoes Campaign
- Transition Year Programme
- Youth Advocacy Service
- School Educational Films
- Consumer Council
- Frame of Mind (Short-film competition)