Shine’s Strategic Plan 2019 -2021

At the Shine AGM on Friday, 16th November we launched our next Strategic Plan 2019- 2021.

This strategic plan builds on our previous plans which have led the organisation in its achievements to date. Since late 2017, we have engaged in a number of focused activities to inform us on the development of this new strategic plan. These activities include a review of our current support group activities, a series of stakeholder meetings involving staff, facilitators, Shine members and board member workshops.

We are committed to continuing to support and enable all those affected by mental ill health and their families to make as full a recovery as possible, to be able to avail of timely and appropriate services in line with best practice and be treated as equal citizens.

Over the coming years we aim to consolidate and improve the national reach of our work. We will research new areas of work to identify best practice in recovery-orientated service delivery for all family members. We will continue to advocate for more family friendly mental health services in line with national policy. We will provide accurate and timely information and continue to raise awareness in all sectors of Irish society. Our activities will be rooted in our values, vision, mission and strategic plan.

Download a copy of the Shine Strategic Plan 2019_2021 Final


Relatives Support Groups – Dublin & Kildare

Shine’s Relatives Support Groups are for families, carers and friends of people with mental ill health. In challenging times, it can be helpful and reassuring to talk to other people with similar experiences. Learning from other people’s ways of coping is an important function of our relatives groups, as well as growing your own support network and a chance to learn and build community supports.


Date: Wednesday 5th December.  It will run monthly on the first Wednesday of every month: 6th Feb; 6th March; 3rd April

Venue: 47 Upper Drumcondra Road (use Homefarm Road gate entrance), Dublin 9.


Date: Tuesday 27th November.  It will run on the last Tuesday of every month.  27th Nov; 29th Jan; 26th Feb; 26th Mar; 30th Apr; 28th May; 25th June.

Venue:  Tus Nua, Dublin Road, Kildare Town

If you are interested in attending the group or for group times and directions please contact Rachael Hughes on (01) 860 1620 or 086 014 2112 E:

Click on the posters below for full details:



This Friday Shines AGM & Conference


“Making Change Happen” Shine Seminar and AGM

 Friday 16th November 2018

 The Oak Room, The Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2


10.30am                   Registration and welcome

11.00- 12.30pm       Voices in my Head (Showing of RTE Documentary on People in Recovery) This will be followed by a panel discussion with Nicola Wall, participant of the documentary and Anne Sheridan, Hearing Voices facilitator and Q and A’s from audience.

12.30 – 1.30pm       AGM and Launch of Shine Strategic Plan 2019- 2021

                                 Announcement of 40th Anniversary celebrations programme 2019

 1.30 -2.30pm           Lunch


MDN-White Ribbon-HSE Gender Equality Seminar

The Men’s Development Network CLG and its White Ribbon Campaign address Gender Equality in Society, Health, Law, Advocacy and in men’s conversation, hosted by the HSE.

Venue: Dr. Steeven’s Hospital Date: 19th November 2018 Time 10am-1pm

 9.30am Registration


10 am: Seán Cooke CEO MDN welcome and outlining this IMD event, MDN and HSE/HI/HI-M/NMHP/Engage/WRI, MDN and its 21years. 

10.15  Fergal Fox General Manager, HSE Health Promotion and Improvement: National Men’s Health Action Plan – Healthy Ireland Men 2017 – 22, adopting the learning to support the development of the National Women’s Health Plan.

10.30 Orla O’Connor CEO NWCI: Achieving Gender Equality Together

10:45 Noel Whelan Senior Council: Positive changes in the Law in relation to Gender Equality in Ireland including on Violence Against Women and Men, particularly the SOA and the new DV Law.

11.00 Mia de Faoite International Expert: Demand Gender Equality: End Demand. 

11:25 Q and A.

11:40 Refreshment Break.

12:00 Minister Simon Harris Photocall. 

 12.15 Minister Harris address: Gender Equality and a Healthy Society, HI. HI-M, Men’s and Women’s Health Action Plans. 

12:30 Alan O’Neill: Gender Equality, a key ingredient in the New Conversation with Men. 

12:50 Q and A.

12:55 Seán Cooke CEO MDN: Closing remarks.

13:00 Lunch

Book online @

Where There’s a Will: A new podcast tackling Ireland’s mental health system

A Lust for Life present: 

Where There’s a Will: A new podcast tackling Ireland’s mental health system


PRESS RELEASE – November 8, 2018

Ireland’s mental health system is failing us – something needs to change, and soon.

A Lust for Life has brought together some of the best and brightest minds in Ireland’s mental health sector to ask: why is our mental health system so dysfunctional? Who is responsible for fixing it? And what can we, collectively, do to create long-term, systemic change?

Award winning mental health charity A Lust for Life, co-founded in 2015 by Niall Breslin (Bressie), has today launched this new six-part podcast series, Where There’s A Will, about our mental health system, which attempts to answer these questions and more.

The introductory episode will debut on Monday 12th November, with the rest premiering every Thursday starting Thursday 15th November and running over six weeks. The podcast series is co-hosted by Paula McLoughlin, Chair and Acting CEO of A Lust for Life, and produced and co-hosted by Editor of A Lust for Life Ciara O’Connor Walsh.

The podcast tackles the problems in the mental health system, covering stories of individuals failing to receive they help need and systemic challenges with policy and infrastructure from those on the coal face. Guests include Brian Higgins (CEO of Pieta House), Professor John Hillery (President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists), Niall Muldoon (Ombudsman for Children), Senator Joan Freeman, Professor Peter Kinderman (University of Liverpool), Dominic Layden (CEO of Aware), Dr Ciara Kelly (Broadcast Journalist), John Saunders (CEO of Shine, Supporting People Affected by Mental Ill Health and Chair of the Mental Health Commission), Dr Eddie Murphy (Clinical Psychologist), Martin Rogan (CEO of Mental Health Ireland), and more; as well as eight people who share their personal experience of using the mental health services, stigma, barriers to care, and what ‘good’ could and should look like.

“We made this podcast series because we at A Lust for Life fundamentally believe that the solutions are out there, that collectively we can influence our political leaders to drive towards a mental health system that truly serves our beautiful island. It is a privilege to bring together so many smart, articulate and informed people to share their perspectives on mental health in Ireland. This podcast provides a ‘state of the nation’ on the mental health system as it is today – and, more importantly, provides a roadmap for a better future”, says Chairperson and Acting CEO, Paula McLoughlin.

“Through this podcast series we’ve connected a number of key people working in mental health to deconstruct the problems we face today – in 2018 – and what we need to focus make things better. We learned a huge amount in making this series, and we hope people listening will learn a lot too. Importantly this work is not just about going over the old ground of everything that’s wrong with the system – it is about articulating the change that is both necessary and possible.” says Editor and podcast producer Ciara O’ Connor Walsh.

This podcast series is kindly sponsored by Revive Active, and Daithí O’Connor, Founder & MD of Revive Active says:

“At Revive Active we promote health, exercise and wellbeing therefore our partnership with Lust for Life is a natural one. Mental health is very prevalent in today’s society and if we as a company help one person by supporting the production of this podcast it will have been a success.”

The series will culminate in a live podcast episode recorded as part of the First Fortnight Festival in January, and will form part of a longer term advocacy campaign that A Lust for Life are driving around political accountability in mental health.

You can hear the trailer here.

 You can also listen to previews of the first three episodes below.

Preview of Episode 1

Preview of Episode 2

Preview of Episode 3

Leon’s Story

Lisa’s Story


For more information or to set up an interview, contact producer of Where There’s A Will,  and Editor of A Lust for Life, Ciara O’Connor Walsh at or on 0851076017.

Notes to editor:

Logo / Artwork

About A Lust for Life

Co-founded by Niall ‘Bressie’ Breslin in October 2015, A Lust for Life is an award winning Irish wellbeing movement created to transform how we talk about and treat mental health. Check us out on A Lust for Life is a registered charity. Registered Charity Number is 20157913.

About Revive Active

Founded by Dáithi O’Connor in 2011, Revive Active passionately believes in doing things right.  From humble beginnings, Daithi backed his vision with everything he had and built a successful business with strong foundations. The team has grown and now includes doctors, scientists, production specialists and expert nutritionists, all dedicated to making innovative health food supplements that really work.

DSCP Ability Programme

The Ability Programme is a free voluntary service for young people aged 18 – 29 offering support and guidance to develop positive pathways to work and study.

Ability connects young people experiencing emotional, psychological and mental health challenges with Guidance Workers to assist them engage with work and/or study, learn new skills, find volunteering and take steps towards finding sustainable employment.

The type of support offered is person centred career planning and pathway support on a one to one and /or group basis. For example, exploring personal interests, building confidence and communication skills, writing CV’s, interview preparation, finding volunteer or work shadowing opportunities and support to access local training and education.


Ability staff will also work with local employers, employment services, education and training providers to support the progression of young people in their work and study.

They have offices based in Crumlin, Ballyfermot and the Inner city covering Dublin 2, 4, 6, 6W, 8, 10, 12, 20.

Contact details:

Deirdre            086 7807956 

Mairead:         086 7807958


The Trinity Department of Psychiatry invites you to a Public Lecture

The Trinity Department of Psychiatry invites you to a Public Lecture:

“Do talking therapies make a difference for individuals with Psychosis?”

Dr Alison Brabban

Date:  Tuesday 20th November at 6pm – 7pm

Venue: Tercentenary Hall, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Pearse St, Dublin 2

This is part of Dr Alison Brabban’s Visiting Professorship to Trinity College, Dublin

Alison Brabban National Clinical Advisor for Severe Mental Illness, NHS England.

Alison qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 1990 and since then has specialised in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis and has been involved in teaching this internationally.  She is passionate about broadening the availability of psychological treatments for individuals affected by psychosis.

She was given a Visiting Lectureship at Harvard University Medical School in 2006 and was awarded a Beck Scholarship from the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia. She has been appointed as the National Advisor for Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme within NHS England. Alison also works as the Clinical Lead for Recovery for a NHS Trust in the North East of England and as a clinician in the local Early Intervention in Psychosis service. Alison was part of the UK’s Schizophrenia Commission and was also involved in the development of the recent update of the NICE guideline for schizophrenia and psychosis.

This event is provided without charge with no requirement to book a place. 





Upcoming event -Mid West region

In Two Minds is a new piece of ambitious and affecting theatre currently being developed by Joanne which looks at the realities of living with bipolar disorder and its effects on relationships. It is inspired and informed by Joanne’s lived experience of her own mother’s bipolar disorder and her mother is a collaborator on the project.

In Two Minds was originally commissioned by Belltable: Connect and is now being developed with the support of The Arts Council, The JP Mc Manus Benevolent Fund, Limerick City and County Council, The Community Foundation of Ireland and Fishamble’s New Play Clinic. A work in progress performance will take place in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin on January 12th 2019 as part of First Fortnight, Ireland’s mental health arts festival.

Research Focus Groups
As part of her research, Joanne is conducting a series of focus groups for people who identify with symptoms or a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, as well as family members of people who identify with bipolar disorder, and invites anyone who would like to take part in any of these sessions to get in touch.

The focus groups will be a relaxed, informal opportunity to confidentially share and discuss your experiences of the condition with others who can relate. Joanne hopes it will also be an opportunity to inform the creative process as she heads into the next phase of development on the show. All contributions will be totally confidential.

These sessions are not intended to be a form of therapy. Participants will be provided with information about a range of relevant free and low cost services and supports that are currently available to those affected by bipolar disorder in the Limerick area.

Joanne will also be presenting some findings of her research at the annual winter conference of The National College of Psychiatrists and hopes that this will prove to be a valuable way to connect healthcare professionals with the realities of the lived experience of bipolar disorder for individuals and families in Ireland.

If you, or someone you know, would like to take part in one of these focus groups or if you have any questions, please get in touch with Joanne on

If you cannot attend one of these groups but would like to be part of any future focus groups please also get in touch!

The next sessions are generously hosted by GROW at their Limerick centre at 33 Henry Street, on the following dates:

Session for anyone who has a close family member who identifies with symptoms or a diagnosis of bipolar disorder:
Tuesday 6th November 6pm-8pm

Sessions for anyone who identifies with symptoms or a diagnosis of bipolar disorder themselves:

Friday 9th November 6pm-8pm

Saturday 10th November 11am-1pm

For more information:

Frame of Mind Short Film Competition

Every year St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and Walk in My Shoes runs the short-film competition called ‘Frame of Mind’.   The aim of this short film competition is to improve awareness about mental health and to remove the stigma associated with mental health difficulties.

To enter all you have you do is create a 2-3 minute long video that tells a story that you feel portrays a positive mental health message.

This year there are two categories Secondary Schools and General.   The winner in each category gets a €1000 prize and the runner up in each category wins a €500 prize.

The shortlisted entries from both categories will be shown at a special screening in St Patrick’s University Hospital on December 10th 2018 at 6pm and the winners will be selected by our esteemed judges.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday November 23rd 2018.     

Full Details are available online