St Patrick's Mental Health Services website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details about cookies and how to manage them see our cookie policy.

How to access

If you are worried about your own mental health or the mental health of a relative or friend, your first point of contact should be your GP. Following assessment, your GP may recommend that you are referred for free-of-charge assessment by an experienced mental health nurse.

St Patrick’s mental health services are improving the way we assess referrals, in order to improve speed of access. This is in response to feedback from service users and referrers about the waiting times to access initial outpatient assessment in our Dean Clinics.

It is important to note that referrals for inpatient admission will continue to be managed in the same way and will not be impacted by this change.

Any referrals received after 24th November 2017 for the Dean Clinic free-of-charge assessments will be transferred into our new Referral & Assessment service and will now receive a free-of-charge assessment by an experienced mental health nurse. This will allow for more prompt and efficient Mental Health assessments and onward referral to the most appropriate service. 

Service users can access this assessment from their own home, without the need to travel to a clinic.  A range of communications technologies including telephone and audio visual technologies such as ‘Skype’ or ‘face time’ will  be used to provide the assessment. The choice of communication with the Referral and Assessment service will be based on the preference of the service user.

If you have any queries, please contact the Referral & Assessment Service on 01 249 3635 or you can contact our switchboard out of hours 01 249 3200.


If you are worried about your own mental health or that of a friend or relative, take the first step and talk to someone.

You can contact our free & confidential support & information service. We are here to advise you of your best options and to give that assurance you need.

You can also contact your GP who should have the information to refer you onto the appropriate services. 

If you are a GP, find out more about how to make a referral in the GP and Referral section

If you have question about health insurance, you can refer to the Health Insurance - Service User Information section.

Health insurance - service user information

St Patrick's Mental Health Services is an independent not-for-profit organisation and receives no government funding. The organisation receives fees for its services from service users and/or their health insurance company.

The health insurance market has become increasingly difficult to navigate in recent years. This is due in part to the extensive range of policies and terms and conditions associated with an increasing number of plans.

St Patrick's Mental Health Services is covered by all health insurance companies in Ireland (VHI, Aviva, Laya or Glohealth). The organisation advocates where appropriate on behalf of service users regarding mental health care benefits provided by the insurance companies and other related matters for the sector.

The links below set out a number of useful sources of information as reference sites:

In particular, the Health Insurance Authority website is very informative in this area.

Mental healthcare is specifically provided for in the legislation that underpins voluntary health insurance known as the Minimum Benefit legislation. This legislation states that every policy must provide a minimum benefit and in the case of general mental healthcare or general psychiatric cover this amounts to 100 days in any given calendar year. However, some insurers provide extra cover over and above the minimum required. This is further restricted for alcohol and substance abuse treatment to 91 days in any (rolling) five-year period.

If you are considering purchasing a plan, changing your plan and/or switching insurance companies it may be useful to know that a health insurer cannot refuse to sell you health insurance even if you have an existing medical condition, however a waiting period may apply. Please ask for details or visit the HIA website for further information.

If you are shopping around for health insurance, we have compiled a useful list of questions that you may wish to ask a health insurer about mental healthcare cover: 

  • What are the benefits for mental health care provided by this policy?
  • Are these benefits the minimum you are obliged to provide or do you provide extra mental healthcare benefits?
  • Is there a quality standard?
  • How do I distinguish between different mental healthcare providers?
  • Do you cover or provide benefits for day care and/or care in the community, for example, in the Dean Clinics?  If so, what are the benefits?
  • Will I be required to pay a shortfall for day care or treatment in the Dean Clinics and if so, how much?
  • Do you provide cover for adolescents in the “Willow Grove” service operated by St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services?
  • Depending on my mental healthcare needs, can I decide in conjunction with my doctor how I use my benefits under my/this policy, for example, inpatient care and/or day care?
  • Is there any waiting period in relation to claiming mental healthcare benefits if I join or switch my policy?
  • Is this dependent on age for people named on the policy?
  • What are the limits (if any) to my cover in any given calendar year?

Support & Information

Take your first step by making a call – Speak to a mental health professional today

01 249 3333

Referral & Admission Service

Referral & Admission Service: Contact us for queries regarding a referral to our service.

01 249 3635