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International Day of Families to be marked with virtual conference celebrating family recovery

By 14th May 2020June 3rd, 2020No Comments

To mark the UN’s International Day of Families TODAY, Friday 15th May from 10am to 4pm, the HSE’s Mental Health Engagement and Recovery Team and its community partners are hosting an online event to celebrate and promote family recovery.


The conference is a co-produced pioneering event and the day will connect families, people with lived experience of living with mental health challenges, professionals and community partners from across the country during a time of unprecedented interruption to our way of life.

The event, which enables participants to take part through live chat and Q&A sessions, can join online family recovery training and education facilitated through recovery education services and colleges around the country. It also allows participants to share personal experiences as well as family supports and resources.

Speaking about the event Michael Ryan, Head of Mental Health Engagement and Recovery said “Recovery has been at the centre of our mental health services for some time and family members have been vital in the development of how we continue to improve our service. In 2017 we launched our National Framework for Recovery in Mental Health which was developed in partnership with service users and their families. This framework builds on our commitment to develop a more recovery-orientated mental health service. This is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the valuable contribution families make in supporting their loved ones in their recovery journey.”

Gina Delaney, Development Officer with Mental Health Ireland added: “I am delighted to see this event coming together so successfully, especially during tough times when so many events are cancelled, causing families to feel more isolated. I know first-hand the effects of mental health challenges, and I know the importance of getting the right supports. When all members of the family feel supported the whole family can recover better. I would encourage anyone with an interest in learning more about the supports available for families or how to support someone you care about to visit Mental Health Ireland’s website.”

Barbara Louise Brennan, guest speaker at the event and Project Coordinator of the See Change initiative, also added; “It is wonderful to be involved in this online event. Those with lived experience of mental health challenges are aware of the need for whole family recovery. In taking this journey together, in sharing the pain and difficulty of it, and in supporting each other through it all, we have learned ways of speaking openly, we have learned healthy coping skills, and it has brought us so much closer as a unit”.

This event was produced by the HSE in conjunction with the following partner organisations; Mental Health Ireland, SeeChange, Shine, Family resource centre Ireland, Alcohol Action Ireland, and our wider group of community partners who have all been collaborators in progressing family recovery.

Recovery education provides a safe space where people can explore and discuss recovery. Recovery education is underpinned by the values of self-direction, personal experience, ownership, diversity and hopefulness.

Through co-production, the process of designing, delivering and participating in recovery education will be strengthened. Recovery education can be delivered across a range of venues and settings within the mental health services and in the community.

The Mental Health Services family, carer and supporter guide was produced for family members, carers and supporters of people who use the mental health services.

The Guide is also intended to help staff in the services in their interaction with family members or supporters in dealing with issues such as confidentiality obligations. It can be found here.