Mental Health Ireland is a national voluntary organisation with Mental Health Associations active across the Republic of Ireland. Founded in 1966, our focus has been on Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing and Living Life Well for people with mental health needs.
It is now time to restate these principles, and demonstrate what this means and how it looks in a modern Ireland. We have worked in this field for over 50 years and earned a position of trust, with many notable achievements in advancing understanding of mental health issues and the promotion of positive mental health.
As we grow to reach every member of our community, we need to adopt a listening and learning stance, always evaluating, adapting and improving. When people need information or support in a time of difficulty or distress, they need to know that they can depend on MHI to be a competent, confident, and capable source of information and support.
We believe that we have the required skills, the structures, and a dynamic relationship with communities throughout Ireland, so we are well placed to deliver upon this strategy. To do this, we must be more focused in delivering high quality services and supports to people with lived experience, their family members, their communities, our volunteers, our funders, and the many people who support our work.
We will continue to work collaboratively with the HSE and other providers to ensure that we are delivering upon our service commitments to the maximum benefit of people who use mental health services. This strategy is a culmination of the work of many individuals and embeds a continuous improvement approach.
In that context, we will monitor, revise and evaluate our work to make it better, more impactful and effective. Volunteers working in mental health are generous with their time and talents, and bring an extraordinary energy and optimism to their work. Volunteering should be satisfying, enjoyable and fun, while creating an opportunity to invest in new friendships and our communities.
This new strategy is an invitation to become involved in something bigger, to be part of a dynamic movement that makes a real difference to many peoples’ lives.
As we innovate and introduce new themes, we must reprioritise and in some instances, we will need to let go of older programmes, in order to move forward towards the next horizon. We will invest in Organisational Fitness at all levels to ensure the highest standards are met and maintained. We will focus on governance and accountability, developing a sustainable resource base for our work and develop a communication approach which will support the delivery of this Strategic Plan.
We have spent a year in consultation and listened closely to many stakeholders as we developed our Strategic Plan 2019-2021. The next task is to communicate its content internally to all of our Volunteers and Members, Funders, relevant external stakeholders and partners. A number of Working Groups are being established to prioritise and advance our strategic aims. Each of these Groups will have a Board Member as a Project Sponsor and a staff member acting as Project Manager.
Our Strategy Working Groups will include members and volunteers and operate in a spirit of co-production. Progress on the delivery of our Strategic Plan will be a standing item on the MHI Board agenda and each MHA is asked to adopt a similar approach. If we are to make this happen, it is important to channel our efforts against action plan objectives and mark our collective achievements.
This may mean that programmes and projects which fall outside of the scope of this strategy may need to be rescaled or discontinued. Any such changes must be made in a respectful and collaborative manner. This strategy is designed to bring greater clarity to the role, function and importance of MHI and our MHAs and to refocus our work over the next three years, 2019-2021. I look forward to working with our staff, Volunteers, partners and friends in making this strategy a reality for MHI.
Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Ireland