Who we are

Who we are

Since our establishment as a national organisation in 1979, Shine has worked tirelessly to shape better policies and services for all those affected by mental health challenges. We support individuals and groups to enhance their recovery, challenge negative attitudes and behaviours and deliver a variety of programmes and services.

Shine is proud to be the only national mental health organisation specifically founded to support all family members.

Our teams provide a range of services to support individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges and their families and supporters.

What we do

Information and brief support

Information and brief support provides a coherent response to informing and supporting people affected by mental health difficulties, including families, in a time of immediate need. Our Information and brief support service is aimed at strengthening the knowledge and understanding of people affected by mental health difficulties, including families, in the areas of

  •      Mental health recovery
  •      Signposting to local mental health and community supports
  •      Their rights as outlined in key policies and legislation

Our Information and brief support service also provides an avenue in which people can access further Shine supports as required.

Individual recovery planning and support

Individual recovery planning and support is appointment-based support which can vary in duration and frequency depending on the person’s needs. The individual work is designed to support the person to plan, navigate and action their recovery journey in their life and community. We work with people with self-experience of mental health difficulties, including working with people experiencing, schizophrenia, psychosis, unwanted intrusive thought, personality disorders, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and voice hearing. Shine’s individual recovery planning and support utilises different evidence-based assessments and approaches based on the individuals need.

Peer support groups

Core to Shine’s history and work is the provision of safe and recovery orientated community based peer support groups for individuals and family members. The purpose of these groups is to decrease isolation and stigma and increase individual’s feelings of connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment. Our groups are facilitated by paid Shine peer facilitators who have their own lived experience as well as extensive training and knowledge in recovery.

Recovery education

Shine has several recovery education programmes that are tailored specifically for people affected by mental health difficulties and family members. Our recovery and education programmes are co-produced with experts by lived experience, either as an individual or family affected by mental health difficulties.


Shine advocates for social change by promoting and defending the rights of all those affected by mental health difficulties to equal support and quality services. Shine works towards integrating a human rights-based approach into mental health policies and legislation and proactively engages in the review of key policy and legislative processes. A dynamic advocacy group (including members with lived experience, family members and supporters) collaborates with Shine in the implementation of advocacy initiatives.

Our programmes

Shine operates two national programmes: See Change and Headline.

See Change is Ireland’s national programme dedicated to ending mental health stigma and discrimination. Its work is informed by people with lived experiences of mental health difficulties, including its 50+ trainedAmbassadors, who share their stories to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.

Across the country, See Change works with its Ambassadors, partners and workplaces to debunk the myths and misconceptions about living with a mental health difficulty through personal experience talks, presentations about stigma, and media interviews. To learn more about See Change’s Ambassador Programme, visit www.seechange.ie/volunteers/.

See Change runs the annual national Green Ribbon campaign. The campaign spreads awareness about all mental health difficulties to help end mental health stigma and discrimination. During the month-long campaign, See Change organises events, runs social media campaigns and supports workplaces, organisations and the general public to start having open and honest conversations about mental health. Wearing a Green Ribbon – an international symbol of mental health awareness – shows others that you are open to starting positive conversations about mental health.

See Change also runs a six-step pledge programme to empower Irish workplaces to create an open culture about mental health and to tackle mental health stigma in the workplace. The programme includes workshops, templates and resource documents to help organisations and staff implement real change.

It is See Change’s vision that every person in Ireland can be open and positive about mental health, understanding it as a normal part of life’s ups and downs.

Headline is Ireland’s national programme for responsible reporting and representation of mental health difficulties in Irish media.

The programme promotes accurate and responsible coverage of mental health-related issues, including suicide and mental illness, in accordance with international media guidelines.  

Headline is a global leader in media and mental health practices, leading innovative research and developing evidence-based methods for improved representation and reporting of mental health difficulties.

Headline has developed a number of trainings and workshops, aimed at media professionals and journalism students. One example is their Mental Health in the Newsroom Workshop which is aimed at supporting media professionals in effectively managing burnout, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue.

Headline also runs the annual Media Mental Health Awards which recognises excellence in media coverage of mental health difficulties, celebrating those whose work brings to light challenging stories of mental ill health. With 9 categories, the Awards highlight work from all media platforms across local and national media.

It is Headline’s objective to work as collaboratively as possible with Irish media professionals, across print, broadcast and online platforms, to reduce the effects of suicide contagion, and the stigma attached to mental ill health. Headline is committed to identifying challenges faced by journalists and producers when confronted with this content, and aims to provide useful resources and workable solutions.

Our history

The Schizophrenia Association of Ireland (Shine) was first set up by a group of family members and professionals from the Cluain Mhuire Community Mental Health Services in Blackrock, Dublin in 1979. The association was set up for family members supporting people living with schizophrenia. It eventually became known as Schizophrenia Ireland.

In 2009, we changed our name to Shine to show how we have developed as an organisation to offer supports for everyone affected by mental health difficulties and their families.