Ireland to host European mental health seminar for first time
Ireland will for the first time host an annual seminar that brings together experts and people with lived experience of mental health challenges and recovery from across Europe.
Mental Health Ireland was nominated by Mental Health Europe to host the annual Empowerment Seminar, which aims to promote mental health literacy and equip participants with the knowledge and skills to look after their own health and wellbeing, including how to interact with mental health services and advocate for their rights and for others.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 European Empowerment Seminar – originally due to take place in Kilkenny – will go digital. Entitled Let’s Talk – Empowering Recovery in Europe, the 2020 European Empowerment Seminar will take place online via Zoom on July 24.
This year’s event will bring together European experts in the field of mental health, including people with lived experience of mental health challenges, family members and service providers to learn, participate and contribute to the discussion of empowering recovery.
The seminar has been co-produced by people from backgrounds in lived experience of mental health challenges, family members and carers, and service providers. It will focus on how empowering recovery through co-production provides better outcomes for everyone.
The seminar will explore the key concepts of CHIME (Connection, Hope, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment) through a variety of interactive and creative means. Panel discussions and interactive workshops will explore themes such as personal and family recovery, human rights, peer working, and empowerment through education.
Martin Rogan, CEO with Mental Health Ireland, says the seminar will spark a “new and more hopeful conversation about recovery.” He adds: “This seminar is about having a new and more hopeful conversation about empowering recovery and what that now means for citizens right across Europe.
“At last we dispel the myth that recovery is a rare event in mental health. We must change the public expectation to one where recovery from a mental health challenge is recognised as a fundamental human right and how this can be achieved through empowerment. By working through co-production, we can bring together all perspectives and look towards a more positive future.
Belinda Coyle is a family peer educator with Mental Health Ireland. Belinda and her siblings grew up with both parents having mental health and addiction challenges.
“My siblings and I lived through this difficult period in our young lives and we are now all living well in recovery and wellness. I became a recovery facilitator and have grown with confidence and strength to learn about family recovery and to accept that caring for myself was equally important for my loved one,” says Belinda.
“By using my personal knowledge and skills, I can support families and individuals through challenges and advocate for them in their recovery.”
Mental Health Ireland recovery education facilitator Billy Clarke calls the seminar a “celebration” of empowerment and hope.
"For me, the Empowering Recovery Seminar is a celebration of everything that makes true empowerment possible - connection, hope, identity and having a meaningful role in life. It is also an opportunity for me to learn new ways of empowering recovery through education, creativity and human rights discourse," he adds.
The free seminar is now open for registration.