& Bursaries

Mental Health Ireland are proud to partner with
three of Ireland’s leading third level education providers
offering mental health & recovery promoting courses. 

Kevin Plunkett Award Closed for 2023
Tony Leahy Bursary Closed for 2023

Kevin Plunkett Award

Tony Leahy Bursary

Mental Health Ireland’s vision is for an Ireland where mental health is valued and supported as an essential part of everyone’s health, so that individuals, family and friends, and communities can thrive.


Kevin Plunkett Award

Applications for 2023 are now closed.   

Mental Health Ireland launched the Kevin Plunkett Award in 2021 to recognise the contribution of mental health nurses who have distinguished themselves in their role and to contribute to improving care and services for people using services and their families.

The Kevin Plunkett award is named after the former Area Director of Nursing for Waterford/Wexford Mental Health Service who passed away in May of this year.

Kevin was a dedicated mental health nurse and mental health volunteer who showed great courage and leadership throughout his career.

The Award recognises and celebrates Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPN) who have shown innovation in areas which may include; Mental Health Promotion, Co-Production, Facilitating Recovery, Service Quality, Innovation and Improvement Public Understanding or Community Engagement.

Of the 2021 launch, Mental Health Ireland’s CEO Martin Rogan said, “We wish to recognise mental health nurses who bring new thinking or fresh insights aligned to the recommendations of the new national mental health policy ‘Sharing the Vision’ and Mental Health Ireland’s own strategy. We also wish to acknowledge best practice, innovation, sustainable and impactful change being brought about by RPNs at all levels.”

Tony Leahy Bursary

Tony Leahy Bursary Applications are now closed for 2023. 

Mental Health Ireland are delighted to partner with University College Cork, Dublin City University, and Atlantic Technological University on three third level certificate courses which support the promotion of mental health, recovery and peer support working.

Through the Mental Health Ireland Tony Leahy Bursary we are delighted to support a number of students of these courses. The bursary was named in honour of our colleague and friend Tony Leahy, who sadly passed away in November 2018. Tony was one of the first to invite people with lived experience and their family members / supporters to sit at the national table with those who provided the services. He understood that change could not happen until we were inclusive of all voices, and made it part of how we plan our services. His work culminated in the co-producing of the National Framework for Recovery in Mental Health 2018 – 2020: which is his ultimate legacy to ensure a consistent, evidenced-based approach to embedding recovery oriented practice in services.

Please note, you must apply for a place on the course of your choice directly via the relevant college. Mental Health Ireland do not manage the application process for the courses themselves, just the Tony Leahy Bursary. These are two separate applications. 

Mental Health Ireland will prioritise applications received from the following groups listed below in order of descending priority, where Group 1 receives highest priority. Applicants who are a member of more than one eligible group will receive an additional weighting. In any year, should the number of equally eligible applicants exceed the number of bursaries available, a lottery system will then apply.

  1. Peers / persons having self-experience of mental health difficulties
  2. Family members / carers / supporters of people who use the mental health services.

The amount of the bursary awarded is up to 50% of course fees. Bursaries of up to 100% of course fees are available to members of the Traveller community and those who identify as an international protection applicant, or a person granted international protection i.e. an asylum seeker, refugee, or person who has been granted Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR).

Tony Leahy Bursary Applications are now closed for 2023.

Certificate in Mental Health in the Community (Level 6)
Certificate in Peer Support Working in Mental Health (Level 8)