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Best practice principles on developing LGBT cultural competence in health and social care education launched

The ‘Being Me’ Consortium, an EU funded project looking at supporting the social inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) older people who use healthcare and wellbeing services, has launched best practice principles on developing LGBT cultural competence in health and social care education. The document outlines principles regarding inclusive education for older LGBT people within educational curricula.

You can download the guidelines here.

IIMHN Conference details for 2019 – Cancelled

The Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing annual conference due to take place in the School of Nursing and Midwifery University of Limerick on Thursday May 16th and Friday May 17th 2019 is being re-scheduled to later in the year.

We will notify members of the re-scheduled date and venue as soon as we confirm them.

It is likely that the conference will re-locate to a Dublin based venue

Understanding Mental Health – DCU Announces Public Lecture Series 2019

The School of Nursing and Human Sciences, DCU has announces it’s forthcoming series of public lectures for 2019.  The events are open to the public and are free.  They run from 7pm-8.30pm on the following dates.

6th March
Living with suicide and suicide related behaviours – responding and making sense
Evelyn Gordon
13th March
The Dublin North, North East Recovery College – Our story so far: Creating an inclusive culture of mental health recovery in the community
John Kelly
20th March
Perfectionism: A double edged sword
Rosaleen McElvaney
27th March
Recovery in the context of mental health
Siobhan Russell
Martha Griffin
3rd April
Living well with the consequences of cancer
Simon Dunne
10th April
Apps, online programmes and other digital re-sources to improve mental well-being
Manuela Ascari
17th April
The role of nutrition in health and wellbeing
Mary Rose Sweeney

IIMHN Announces Workshops for 2018-2019

The IIMHN is pleased to announce its programme for practice development for 2018/2019 in association with the Office of Nursing and Midwifery Services Director.  This year we plan to offer a wide range of workshops on working with voices, paranoia, the Maastricht Interview and voice dialogue.  The workshops will be facilitated by Peter Bullimore, Elisabeth Svanholmer & Rufus May, who are leaders in these areas.

The workshops will be held nationwide with the support of the Schools of Nursing in DCU, UCD, UCC, Limerick, Castlebar and NUIG.  These workshops will encompass novice, intermediate and advanced level techniques in facilitation of the processes involved.  To book a place on one of these workshops please email or phone the designated contact person for the workshop in the list below.

Hearing Voices

This year the workshops will be delivered by Peter Bullimore in voices awareness training, hearing voices group facilitation and advanced facilitation techniques, the IIMHN will continue the voice dialogue workshops with Elisabeth Svanholmer & Rufus May.

Paranoia Workshops

To supplement the hearing voices workshops this year the IIMHN are again running a series of workshops on working with paranoia, delivered by Peter Bullimore founder of the Paranoia Network UK.

Maastricht Interview

Peter Bullimore will deliver workshops on the use of the Maastricht Interview.

Please contact the relevant coordinator for an application form.

Schedule for IIMHN workshops for 2018-2019

WorkshopFacilitatorLocationContact personemail
UCC: 9th & 10th January 2019Harry GijbelsH.Gijbels@ucc.ie
UCD: 12th & 13th FebAnn Sheridanann.sheridan@ucd.ie
NUIG: 29th & 30th January 2019Siobhan Smithsiobhan.smyth@nuigalway.ie
Limerick: 26th & 27th March 2019Teresa TouhyTTUOHY@tcd.ie
Castlebar: 16th & 17th Jan 2019Sylvia CampbellSylvia.Campbell@hse.ie
ONE DAY FOLLOW UPPETER BULLIMOREDCU: 2nd April 2019Mary Farrellymary.farrelly@dcu.ie
UCD: 12th April 2019Ann Sheridanann.sheridan@ucd.ie
Northwest: 7th May 2019Sylvia CampbellSylvia.Campbell@hse.ie
Limerick: 27th May 2019Teresa TouhyTTUOHY@tcd.ie
UCC: 29th May 2019Harry GijbelsH.Gijbels@ucc.ie
NUIG: 31 May 2019Siobhan Smithsiobhan.smyth@nuigalway.ie
2-DAY MAASTRICHT INTERVIEWPETER BULLIMORENUIG: 12th & 13th March 2019Siobhan Smithsiobhan.smyth@nuigalway.ie
Limerick: 26th & 27th June 2019Teresa TouhyTTUOHY@tcd.ie
Castlebar: 8th & 9th May 2019Sylvia CampbellSylvia.Campbell@hse.ie
UCC: 15th & 16th May 2019Harry GijbelsH.Gijbels@ucc.ie
UCD: 21st & 22nd May 2019Ann Sheridanann.sheridan@ucd.ie
1-DAY PARANOIAPETER BULLIMORENUIG: 14th March 2019Siobhan Smithsiobhan.smyth@nuigalway.ie
Limerick: 28th June 2019Teresa TouhyTTUOHY@tcd.ie
Castlebar: 10th May 2019Sylvia CampbellSylvia.Campbell@hse.ie
UCC: 17th May 2019Harry GijbelsH.Gijbels@ucc.ie
UCD: 23rd May 2019Ann Sheridanann.sheridan@ucd.ie
2-DAY VOICE DIALOGUERUFUS MAY AND ELIZABETH SVANHOMERDCU: 1st & 2nd April 2019Mary Farrellymary.farrelly@dcu.ie
UCC: 4th & 5th April 2019Harry GijbelsH.Gijbels@ucc.ie
Limerick: 25th & 26th April 2019Teresa TouhyTTUOHY@tcd.ie
NUIG: 29th & 30th April 2019Siobhan Smithsiobhan.smyth@nuigalway.ie
Castlebar: 17th & 18th June 2019Sylvia CampbellSylvia.Campbell@hse.ie



Sorry this workshop is now BOOKED OUT

The IIMHN is pleased to announce a TWO-DAY SKILLS’ BASED WORKSHOP (6th and 7th December 2018) with a FOLLOW-UP DAY (1st April 2019)

Venue: School of Nursing and Human Sciences, Dublin City University

Funded by the Nursing and Midwifery Practice Development Unit and the Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing

Facilitator: Peter Bullimore, an internationally renowned voices and paranoia trainer

Background to the Workshop:

There are now a number of Hearing Voices Groups in Ireland (www.hearingvoicesnetworkireland.ie )

To continue the development of a network of Hearing Voices Groups, a 2-day training programme for people interested in becoming group facilitators is now again available. A follow-up 1 day workshop is also provided to provide support and guidance for those who have completed the training and are facilitating a group.  Please note that you should be able to commit to both sets of workshops.

This is a free workshop, funded by the Nursing and Midwifery Practice Development Unit (NMPDU) and organised by the Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing (www.iimhn.ie ).

Aim of the Workshop:

A 2-day workshop for mental health staff and people with lived experience who want to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate a Hearing Voices Support Group.  On completion of the workshop, participants will be expected to start a hearing voices group or co-facilitate an existing group.  A 1-day follow-up workshop in April will provide support and guidance for those who have completed the training in their endeavours to set-up and facilitate groups.

Workshop Content:

  • Hopes & fears of starting a group
  • Why start a group?
  • Therapy or therapeutic group
  • Ground rules & starting points
  • The role of the facilitator
  • Benefits of a group
  • Understanding group members & communication skills
  • Conflict management & coping with difficult members
  • Extending the group
  • Reviewing the group
  • What are the challenges & rewards?
  • Support for facilitators

This workshop is targeted primarily at mental health nurses, whose applications will be prioritised, but applications are also open to other mental health workers and people who experience voices, visions and paranoia.



14 AND 15 NOVEMBER 2018

At the first critical perspectives conference, in 2009, recovery principles and practices were debated and discussed with a considerable optimism about their potential to radically change mental health care. Now, with the conference in its 10th year, it is time to take another critical look at recovery and in particular the adoption of so-called strategies of inclusion (e.g. co-production, community engagement, and the employment of peer support workers) by mainstream institutions. The conference will consider whether such strategies have led to a recovery-focused mental health care where service users have choices, control and authority, or whether these strategies constitute an act of appropriation and co-option servicing primarily the interests of the mental health establishment.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers 

Lucy Costa is Deputy Executive Director of The Empowerment Council, an independent service user rights-based organization in Toronto Canada. She works as a community activist and advocate promoting the rights of mental health service users/survivors as well as encouraging critical analysis about service user inclusion in the mental health sector. She has written a number of articles and blogs, and is co-editor of a forthcoming book entitled, Madness, Violence and Power: A Radical Anthology Lynne Friedli is a freelance researcher, with a special interest in the relationship between mental health and social justice.  She has just completed research on the (mis) use of psychology in workfare with Hubbub at the Wellcome Collection. Lynne is also interested in the politics of strengths based discourse, the use of positive psychology in the ‘reification of ‘work’ and how these developments have come to dominate (or perhaps colonise) ideas about Recovery, as well as inspiring a resurgence of new forms of resistance to work.
Deirdre Lillis briefly experienced the force of the psychiatric response to her emotional distress in her early twenties. From there she took a path focusing on independent advocacy, facilitating service user/survivor involvement in the planning and delivering of mental health supports and services and supporting survivor led research. She is currently responsible for the Cork Advocacy Service available to people with disabilities and people using mental health services through the Social and Health Education Project (SHEP). Helen Spandler is a Reader in Mental Health in the School of Social Work, Care and Community at the University of Central Lancashire. She is the author of numerous books and articles on mental health practice, policy & politics, including ‘Madness, Distress and the Politics of Disablement’ (2015).  She is also Managing Editor of Asylum: the magazine for democratic psychiatry
Danny Taggart is a clinical psychologist and academic director on the clinical psychology program at the University of Essex. He is also a survivor of institutional childhood sexual abuse in the north of Ireland. Danny has published and spoken widely about his multiple perspectives on the subject of trauma and mental health in the hope of broadening debate about how mental health professionals can best respond to abuse survivors but more importantly to argue for involving survivors in policy, service and treatment development. Jijian Voronka is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor, Canada. Using interdisciplinary critical theories, her research explores the consequences of mental health service user inclusion strategies in research and service delivery systems. She is currently working on a book “Troubling Inclusion: The value of mad labour” which offers a Mad Studies account of the politics of inclusion.

Call for abstracts (oral presentations/workshops) of 45 minutes’ duration related to the conference theme and outlining its aims and intentions. Please submit (in Word- 250 words max) by 10 September 2018. Please also submit a brief bio (in Word – 150 words max). Email abstract and bio to l.sapouna@ucc.ie. Inquiries to h.gijbels@ucc.ie or l.sapouna@ucc.ie.

Registration details will be circulated in September 2018.

The Conference organisers are Harry Gijbels (retired), Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland.  


Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing Notice of Annual General Meeting 17th October 2018

On behalf of Imelda Noone (on Term Time) Company Secretary IIMHN:

Notification is served of the Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing, Annual General Meeting for Wednesday 17th October at 14.30 pm. in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Room 0.30.

IIMHN/COMMUNE Conference 2018: Timetable

The timetable for the IIMHN/COMMUNE Project Conference in DCU on the 17th and 18th May 2018 has been released.

17th May 2018
Morning session


Chair: Mary Farrelly


09.00 – 09.00


Registration and Coffee


09.30 – 09.45 Chair’s Opening Address: Mary Farrelly
09.45 – 11.15


Keynote: Singing from the same songsheet? Managing differing perspectives in co-produced mental health nursing education”.  Speakers: Brenda Happel and Julia Bocking


11.15 – 11.45






























Concurrent sessions – Chairs: Louise Doyle and Imelda Noone

Session A Session B
 Service user engagement in research: consultation versus co-productionSpeaker: Agnes Higgins How is the learning different if the teacher is teaching from lived experience?

Speaker: Charlotte Wilson

Happy Feet walking Group

Speaker: Caroline Murphy, Adrienne Adams, Cathy O Mahony and  Theresa Tobin

Delineating and relinquishing the power divide through co-production. Are we truly ready, willing and able?

Speaker: Aoife Ni Bhriann

Improving Traveller mental health – the role of co-production: findings from an evaluation of a Traveller Mental Health Liaison Nurse in Carlow and Kilkenny.

Speaker: Brian Keogh



STRENCO – Strengthening multi-professional competencies in mental health in an international context, through co-production with academics, students, service users and professionals

Speaker: Michael Brennan, Grace Ball, Mathew Colgan, Rory Conroy, Cecelia Ezeani, Agnes Higgins, Barry Hurley, Jean Morrissey, Colman Noctor, Mark Monahan

Identifying and responding to palliative care needs among people with enduring mental illness

Speaker: Ann Sheridan, Barbara Coughlan, Sarah Walsh, Kate Frazer, Loretta Crawley, Mary Kemple and Sinead O’Toole

Co–production and management of aggression– an oxymoron or opportunity?

Speaker: Christina Larkin & Ann Sheridan






Lunch and poster viewing


Afternoon session Chair: Christina Larkin


“Experiences of co-produced education for Mental Health Nurses”.  Speakers: Siobhan Russell, Martha Griffin, Catherine Stanton, Niamh Daly and Liam MacGabhann







49 North Street – Creating/Facilitating Alchemy in the Mental Health Services:

Our ethos is to create a space, a melting pot whereby learning, therapy alongside diversity flourish. It’s about taking risks, building on peoples’ strengths and sharing the load/power which is now seeing a recovery community thrive.  The Claddagh Rogues are an example of this and will play live on the day!

James O Flynn, Declan McCarthy, Kevin Shanahan, Tony Cotter, Peter Kearney and Susan Mc Menamin


18th May 2018


COMMUNE Workshop


09.30 – 09.45


Introduction to the day: Chair: Liam MacGabhann




Keynote: “Doing co-production like it says on the tin”  Speakers: Dublin North, North East Recovery College


10.30 – 10.50


“COMMUNE – Embedding expertise by experience teaching into undergraduate nursing programmes”  Speakers: Iceland & Finland




“What Service Users can contribute to mental health teaching on undergraduate nursing programmes”  Speakers: Ireland UCC/DCU








“Experts by Experience teaching on undergraduate nursing programmes” Speakers: EBE members




“Best Practice Guidelines for Co-Producing Course Content and Teaching on Undergraduate Nursing Programmes”  Speakers: Norway & Netherlands


“Impact of experts by experience teaching into undergraduate nursing programmes: international findings”  Speakers: Australia


13.20 – 13.30


Poster prizes close of conference




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Maastricht Interview/Working with Paranoia Workshop, Cork; 2nd and 3rd May 2018

The IIMHN is please to announce two workshops to be delivered by Peter Bullimore due to take place in May 2018 in Cork (UCC):

  • 2-day Maastricht Interview: Making Sense of Voices workshop on 2nd and 3rd May 2018
  • 1-day Working with Paranoia workshop on 4th May 2018

Applications are now invited. Please contact Harry Gijbels re attendance.

Download the application form for the Maastricht Interview workshop flyer and application 2 and 3 May 2018 UCC.

Download the application form for Working through Paranoia & Making Sense of Unusual Beliefs – flyer and application form for Cork 4-5-18.

These are free workshops.

Please note these workshops are targeted primarily at mental health nurses, whose applications will be prioritised. However, applications are also open to other mental health workers and people who experience voices, visions and paranoia, pending availability of places.

IIMHN Conference 2018 in conjunction with The COMMUNE (Co-produced Mental Health Nurse Education) Project

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The Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing is please to invite abstracts for its 2018 conference which will be held jointly with the COMMUNE (Co-produced Mental Health Nurse Education) project.  Conference booking is now open.

Link to the Registration page

The theme of the conference is: ‘Informing mental health nursing practice, education, and research through co production’.

There has been growing interest in co-production in the past decade, particularly in the context of promoting partnerships between governments, services, service users and communities in the commissioning and development of health and community services. A co-production approach sees service users /consumers  involved in, or leading, defining the problem, designing and delivering the solution, and evaluating the outcome, either with professionals or independently (Roper, Grey & Cadogan 2018).

Attendance at the conference is free.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof Brenda Happell

Julia Bocking

Abstracts are invited from all groups on areas related to the conference theme.  The closing date for abstract submission is 20th April 2018.  You can download the abstract submission form here.

The conference is supported by Nursing & Midwifery Planning & Development, Quality & Clinical Care Directorate, Health Service Executive, Dublin North.

The conference will take place May 17th and 18th, 2018, in the:

School of Nursing and Human Sciences

Dublin City University

Collins Avenue Extension

Dublin 9

D09 W6Y4


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