€7.6 million mental health fund aims to help over 8,000

by Christopher Cannon

DCU Mental Health Society have said that they are extremely happy to hear of this new programme coming into place.

The EU has funded €7.6 million in an effort to improve mental health support across the country, the HSE announced on March 9th.

The Innovation Recovery project will feature three cross-border recovery college networks set up in order to assist people in taking greater control over their own mental and emotional well-being. The recovery colleges will provide education as a route to recovery, with courses devised and delivered collaboratively by people with their own experience of mental illness along with mental health professionals.

This approach will allow people to be supported in recovery and let them create a satisfying and meaningful life for themselves. The West, South and East recovery college services will each have a broad catchment area across Ireland/Northern Ireland to provide access to those geographically or socially isolated.

The project time-frame is four and a half years with 2021 being dated as the expected completion stage. It is funded through the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, and match funded by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government and the Scottish Government.

DCU Mental Health Society have said that they are extremely happy to hear of this new programme coming into place.

“The Society welcomes the investment with tremendous joy. I have great hope that the initiative will help the process in breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental health here in Ireland and will continue the process of opening up the conversation of mental health and well-being,” said society chair, Sorcha Murphy.

“Education is key and this move has been long awaited, I am looking forward to seeing the results it will bring,” she added.

The programme hopes to reach support to over 8,000 people in order to support their recovery. Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, said it was a massive bonus for Ireland to get this programme at the launch event.

“The Innovation Recovery initiative is taking a community-based approach by supporting people to better understand and manage their mental health within their own localities. The recovery ethos is one which the Department wholeheartedly embraces and is reflected in current policy and practice,” he said.

Christopher Cannon

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