News for Service Users

Here, we share news and updates from our service user engagement groups.

In St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS), we are committed to involving service users in a meaningful way in the planning, delivery, and development of our services. We value service user engagement and have developed many ways to ensure that the views of our service users and those who support them are acted on in significant ways.

Service user engagement is important in helping us to constantly develop our services. We believe that our service users and those who support them are experts by experience, and that their perspectives are invaluable in helping us to provide the best standard of care possible to all our service users. To achieve this, we have a range of processes in place to ensure that service users can engage or provide feedback.

Below, you’ll find monthly updates from three of our service user engagement groups, our Service User and Supporters Council (SUAS),  Service User Advisory Network (SUAN) and Family, Carers and Supporters (FCS) Advisory Network. 

If you have any questions about service user participation or would like to get involved, please email our Service User Engagement Lead, Siobhan Fitzharris, at

SUAS updates

SUAS updates

SUAS is a forum established here in SPMHS to facilitate extensive service user participation, which directly informs how we as an organisation develop our services. SUAS meets remotely on the first Wednesday of each month. This is a summary of SUAS meetings in 2023.


Paul Gilligan, our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Tamara Nolan, our Director of Communications and Advocacy, attended the meeting to update members on the next five-year organisational strategy.

A SUAS proposal to introduce peer support workers into SPMHS was reviewed by the Senior Management Team (SMT).


The SUAS Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place, during which the Terms of Reference for the council were reviewed, updated, and agreed. The incumbent Chair was re-elected for a third and final term.

SUAS also outlined its goals and objectives for 2023 which are to:

  • Drive the proposal to introduce peer support workers in SPMHS
  • Continue to develop user-friendly version of the Change of Treating Team policy
  • Increase visibility of actions taken by SPMHS as a result of feedback provided by service users
  • Establish collaborations and relationships with other service user councils in Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK), and Europe
  • Establishing a physical presence from SUAS monthly in the Information Centre in St Patrick’s University Hospital (SPUH)
  • Extend an invitation to Mary Butler TD, Minister for Mental Health, to attend a SUAS meeting

During the SUAS meeting, Gary Kiernan, Chair of SUAS, and Paul Gilligan discussed inpatient catering. Both agreed more action was needed to address the decline in positive feedback received from service users.

The SUAS proposal to introduce peer support workers was reviewed by the Clinical Governance Committee (CGC).

Members of SUAS met with researchers who are completing an independent evaluation of our service user engagement structures.


SUAS reviewed the list of possible organisations that SUAS may be interested in contacting to find out more about their service user councils or structures, with a view to establishing links.


Professor Paul Fearon, our Medical Director, attended the SUAS meeting to discuss the Changing Treating Team policy and process. SUAS will update the service user guide they are working on to reflect this discussion.

A working group overseeing the development of an exciting new mental health education centre in SPUH also attended the meeting. Their attendance aimed to gather feedback from SUAS as part of the consultation process on the proposed visitor journey and experience.

CGC responded to the SUAS proposal to introduce peer support workers. The committee suggested that SUAS organises an initial working group to consider and document these issues and produce more focused, defined proposals for the committee to consider.

SUAN and FCS Advisory Network updates

SUAN and FCS Advisory Network updates

SUAN provides opportunities for service users to engage in a time-limited, project-driven way. Members can take part in surveys or focus groups or join an advisory group. SUAN offers service users the opportunity to participate in ways that suit them, and to get involved in projects that are of interest to them.

The FCS Advisory Network enables us to engage and consult with people who support our service users. This ensures that the views and perspectives of our service users’ family members, carers and supporters are included as we develop and implement our organisational strategic plans.

Members of SUAN and the FCS Advisory Network receive monthly newsletters with updates and information about ways to get involved.

In 2023, these have included updates on the new organisational strategy, which they helped to inform in 2022, and invitations to:

Interested in taking part?

If you would like to get involved, you can follow the links below to learn more or request to join our service user engagement groups.

See more from our service users

Representatives from our service user groups have shared their experiences of mental health and recovery with us: see and read more from them below.

See more from our service users

Continue to…

Service User Satisfaction Survey

Support and Information

Take your first step by making a call: speak to a mental health professional today.

01 249 3333

Referral and Assessment Service

Contact us for queries regarding referrals to our service.

01 249 3635 Referrals & Admissions