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EVE, Brú Chaoimhín,
Cork Street
Dublin 8,

Tel: +353 (0)1 415 6827 (General enquiries)

Tel: +353 (0)1 415 6810 (Apply for Services / Client Referrals)

Fax: +353 (0)1 415 6870



Self advocacy- Speaking up for Recovery!

Irish Advocay Network complete Advocacy training for EVE

In our evolving recovery oriented mental health services, service users have a powerful role to play in the organisational change process. When shared, their personal experience can highlight the priorities that must be addressed if we are to deliver hopeful services and contexts for personal recovery and growth. Experience to date suggests that this represents a significant challenge for both the service user and the service provider.  


As part of our strategic commitment to enabling services users find their voice, EVE invited the Irish Advocacy Network to run a self advocacy training programme over 8 sessions. IAN is a peer-led organisation that grew out of a grass roots identification of the need for peer advocacy. They provide peer advocacy to clients who have or have had mental health difficulties and has been providing certificated and fully accredited peer advocacy training since its inception. 


To date, five courses have taken place with 54 participants from across our 21 services enjoying the opportunity to cultivate knowledge and self awareness; to strengthen social supports, to build confidence, to assert personal needs and develop skills to address concerns and instigate positive change. Themes covered in the course included, Self awareness, Assertiveness, Communication, Information, Social supports, Rights and responsibilities and Personal safety.


Feedback from the programme has been extremely positive with one participant commenting that the most useful learning involved realising “the need to make a personal effort, to value and seek out social supports related to the aims of self advocacy.” Certificates were recently awarded to participants by Orla Barry, CEO Mental Health Reform who affirmed the importance of IAN’s advocacy programme in raising the capacity of service users to contribute to the change programme as outlined in Vision for Change.


As service providers, we need to invest in capacity raising initiatives like Advocacy training if we are to enable those people who use our services influence the exciting recovery programme at the heart of the national re-configuration agenda.


EVE is a programme within the HSE, providing community based services for people who experience mental health difficulties, intellectual disabilities, and those with a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.


For further information contact Margaret Webb, HSE EVE at and Jim Walsh IAN at

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