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Mental Health Ireland Annual Conference 2014 - Arás Folláin Peer Support
Peer Support Centre
085 8607856 email;
In 2004 a partnership Peer Befriending Project started in which peers provided support to
each other in their recovery from mental health difficulties. This led to the first model of
peer support training being developed by 2 people with lived experience. At this time there
was a small amount of funding available to pay the peer befrienders.
In 2006, a conference and week long training with Shery Mead on Intentional Peer Support
was organised. The conference was well attended by people that use the mental health
services, family members and mental health professionals from all over Ireland,
26 people with lived experience completed the Intentional Peer Support
It was identified that a space was needed for themselves, and that led to finding the
building. Which was officially opened in 2007 as Aras Folláin Peer Support Centre.
Aras Follain is a peer-led initiative which aims to
empower persons in their physical, emotional,
spiritual and mental development through
generating an open, non-judgemental
Áras Folláin aspires to facilitate people in their
respective challenges to develop, through peer
support - equal status –assisting and
encouraging one another, social skills, personal
development, self-recovery and well being in
their daily lives
Áras Folláin aims toÁras Folláin aims to
information and peer advocacy
value and uniqueness of each person
cultural perspectives as a resource.
reduce social isolation
improve self concept
Shine Family Support Group
Young Girls Group
Walk n Talk Group
Shine Peer Support Group
Mums on the Move
Sunday Social Sessions
Wellness Recovery Action Plan
Áras Folláin promotes a wellness and recovery
model for people who have experienced mental
who are at risk of mental ill health through
social isolation, family circumstances disability
The centre is run by a steering committee made
up of representatives from all of the groups
that run it the house.
Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded
on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual
agreement of what is helpful. (Shery Mead, 2003) ......Peer
support promotes a culture of health and ability rather than
one of illness and disability (Mead et al, 2001).
Is a helping relationship that promote respect, trust and
warmth and empowers us to make changes and decisions to
enhance our lives (British Columbia Peer support Training
1. How would you like to be supported if you
were having a hard time?
2. Do you think you could support someone
who was having a very hard time?
3. Would you be able to accept unusual
behaviour if it was helpful to the other
person and not hurting anyone else?
4. Would you be able to accept the other
person’s reality if it is different to yours?
• Confidentiality –the cornerstone of trust
• Building relationship
• Mutual Responsibility
• Valuing Community Connection
• Having Fun
• Taking Care of Yourself
• Non-Judgemental/World view
• Sense of worth
• Social skills
• Confidence building
• Hope and support
• Sense of humour
• Learn about yourself
• Sharing your experiences with others
• Putting back into the community
• Self esteem/self worth
• Help yourself by helping others
Empowerment relates to people taking decisions for
For too long people have been subject to the views
and decisions of people who think they know what’s
best for them in terms of treatment, care and how to
live their lives.
Empowerment enables people to
take charge of their own lives
and is a key component in recovery
from severe mental illness.
The commitment and passion of our
volunteers enables the continuation of the
development of the peer support network
Training in WRAP, Peer Support & Advocacy to
support volunteers in this rewarding & often
Respecting the confidentiality of people coming to
Commitment to the agreed times
Willingness to participate, learn and have fun
Recovery is not managing illness
It’s discovering wellness
Recovery is not fixing what’s broken
It’s finding wholeness, meaning, and
A love for life
Recovery is a journey
A reconnection to self, others, nature, and
A willingness to forgive, an openness
A search for peace …
- Duane Sherry