A gift from the will of Jonathan Swift, Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, champion of the poor and oppressed, satirist and author of Gulliver’s Travels, started a legacy which has left its mark on Irish mental healthcare to this day.

Jonathan Swift Institute of Mentally Healthy Living

Jonathan Swift Institute of Mentally Healthy Living

On 19 October 1745, Swift passed away. In his will, he left his estate to establish a hospital for the psychiatrically ill.

By the standards of his day, this decision was incredible. Swift was moved to ensure that St Patrick's would be the first hospital in Ireland and one of the first in the world to be built specifically for the care of the psychiatrically ill. Throughout the years, St Patrick's Hospital has relied heavily on fundraising, as well as fees from service users.

In recent years, the inception of the Friends of St Patrick’s and then the formation of St Patrick's Mental Health Foundation have played vital roles in the life of the hospital. Both organisations have generously supported various projects, including outpatient department initiatives, the service user library, research and many educational activities.

Building on the achievements of St Patrick’s Mental Health Foundation in supporting the development of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) into Ireland’s leading independent mental health service provider, the organisation’s fundraising activities have been restructured and refocused.

Since 2016, all fundraising activities have been directed to the Capital Development Project. This is to support the further development of SPMHS into a service of excellence that is grounded in a human rights framework and based on a recovery model of service delivery and to also redefine how society understands mental health.

This is an exciting time for us. Our Capital Development Programme is one of the most ambitious we have ever produced. We are confident that, in partnership with those who experience mental health difficulties, and through the commitment and initiative of staff, the board of governors, donors, volunteers and service users, our development plans will be achieved.

We are delighted to announce that our aim is to establish the Jonathan Swift Institute of Mentally Healthy Living, a world-renowned institute that promotes mentally healthy living as well as raising standards and expectations for the care of those experiencing mental health difficulties across the world. This centre will provide a hub of research, training, education and public awareness with a special focus on promoting human rights, recovery and evidence-based mental health best practice.

If you would like to find out more about our Capital Development Plan, please contact our Communications Department on 01 249 3540. We would be delighted to hear from you.

Fundraising Guiding Principles

SPMHS is committed to complying with the Statement for Guiding Principles for Fundraising and has formally discussed and adopted the statement at a meeting of the board of governors. These are the fundraising guidance principles, policies, forms and donor charter of SPMHS.

Included below is our Commitment to Standards in Fundraising Practice and Public Compliance Statement. Contact us if you have any questions relating to fundraising compliance.

  1. Volunteer Policy
  2. Commitment to Standards in Fundraising Practice
  3. Donor Charter
  4. Communications and Fundraising Feedback and Complaints Policy
  5. Public Compliance Statement
  6. Donor Funding Consent Form
  7. Third-Party Fundraising Event Agreement.

You can learn more about the Guiding Principles of Fundraising at the Charities Institute Ireland's website

Click here to email our Communications Department with your queries.

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