Service User and Supporters Council - SUAS

Our Service User and Supporters Council (SUAS) ensures that our service users and those who support them are directly involved in all we do.

SUAS is a forum for service user participation, which, here at St Patrick's Mental Health Services (SPMHS), directly informs how we as an organisation develop our services.

What does SUAS do?

What does SUAS do?

The main focus of SUAS is to listen to and represent the thoughts and opinions of our service users, as well as those who support them. This ensures that their needs are at the centre of every aspect of the care and treatment that we deliver.

SUAS works with our management, Board of Governors, and clinicians to capture and represent the views and perspectives of our service users and their supporters. Their views are presented and included when changes and improvements within our services are being considered.

Members of SUAS are regularly asked to review and provide input on plans being considered that will impact the experience of our service users and their supporters. SUAS members also make suggestions to management for changes they feel will help improve the overall experience of care and treatment in SPMHS.

In addition, some members of SUAS take part in activities such as delivering morning lectures to current service users, writing blogs and articles for our website and newsletters, and sharing their lived experiences in media interviews and other events, such as our #NoStigma campaign.

You can find out more about activities SUAS is currently involved in here.

What does becoming a member of SUAS involve?

What does becoming a member of SUAS involve?

Members of SUAS are required to attend meetings on monthly basis. These meetings take place on the first Wednesday of each month and are currently held remotely. The meetings take place from 5.30pm to 7pm to facilitate the availability of SUAS members.

In order to best participate in and contribute to SUAS, members are expected to read documents ahead of time that are relevant to the agenda and inform discussions at meetings.

SUAS consults on projects and activities that may be sensitive. Members are therefore asked to sign a confidentiality agreement when joining SUAS to keep information about the activities private.

Who can become a member of SUAS?

Who can become a member of SUAS?

Membership of SUAS is open to people who have previously used our services as an inpatient, outpatient or day patient, and to those who support them.

As it is important to focus your energy on recovery when in hospital, you need to have been discharged from inpatient care to join; if, during your involvement in SUAS, you need to go back into hospital, we would ask that you take a break to focus on your recovery and re-join us when you feel able. You can take part in SUAS while you are attending day services or outpatient care.

How do I join SUAS?

How do I join SUAS?

As SUAS is a formal committee, the application process is also a formal one.

Applying to be a member involves writing an application letter outlining your interest in joining SUAS. If you are a service user, we also require your application letter to be accompanied by a letter of support from your SPMHS consultant. This is a safeguarding measure to make sure that, in their opinion, joining SUAS will not affect your recovery.

When we receive your application and support letters, these are presented to our Board of Governors to be approved.

Following this, you will then be formally invited to join SUAS and begin attending meetings. In advance of attending your first meeting, you will meet with our Service User Engagement Lead to help you become more familiar with the projects SUAS is working on.

If you have any questions about SUAS or the application process, you can contact our Service User Engagement Lead, Siobhan Fitzharris, by calling 01 249 3390 or by emailing

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Service User Advisory Network - SUAN