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Jul 2015 by PCI College

Connection Profile: St Patrick's Mental Health Services

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is Ireland’s largest, independent, not-for-profit mental health service. Sarah Surgenor, Head of Communications and Fundraising outlines some of their key initiatives.

When Jonathan Swift, Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral and noted author, founded St Patrick’s Hospital 270 years ago, he did so because he recognised that people with mental illness needed a specialist service to provide care, treatment and a voice.


Today, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is Ireland’s largest, independent, not-for-profit mental health service and aspires to be the recognised leader in:

  • the provision of quality mental health care
  • the promotion of mental health awareness
  • the protection of the rights and integrity of those suffering from mental illness


St. Patrick’s comprises of two inpatient campuses (St Patrick’s University Hospital and St Edmundsbury) and seven community Dean Clinics.  The organisation provides a range of mental health services that cater for obsessive–compulsive disorderanxiety disordersaddiction and dual diagnosis, depression,  bipolar educationpsychosis recovery, eating disorders, mood & anxiety, and the mental health of older adults.


St Patrick’s also have dedicated mental health services for adolescents (14-18) and a young adult service (18-25).


For more on services see here



Service users often identify stigma as one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with mental illness, leading to distress, anxiety, isolation and fear. Stigma is the use of negative labels to identify people with mental health problems. It has its roots in fear and misunderstanding. Many people hold negative opinions towards people with mental health problems because they do not understand the issues involved and because they are relying on myths and misconceptions.


St Patrick’s is committed to actively promoting the understanding and de-stigmatisation of mental illness both locally and nationally. The St Patrick’s Transition Year Programme invites students from all over Ireland to take part in a week long placement hosted by the Adolescent Mental Health team at St. Patrick’s University Hospital. To date over 500 students have taken part in the programme which aims to educate young people about mental health issues and to breakdown the stigma associated with mental illness. All participants return to their schools as ambassadors for mental wellbeing.


St Patrick’s Mental Health Services are also active partners in the See Change campaign which is a national alliance of organisations working together to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems in Ireland.


St Patrick’s Mental Health Foundation - Walk in my Shoes


St Patrick’s Mental Health Foundation fundraises on behalf of St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services. The Foundation is independently governed by a voluntary Board of Directors and is a registered charity, CHY 6276. The Foundation supports the vision of a society where all citizens are given the opportunity to live mentally healthy lives. Making this vision a reality relies on the generosity and support of donors.


The ‘Walk in My Shoes’ fundraising campaign, was established by the Foundation. It began when a 16-year-old in St. Patrick’s Hospital said he wished his friends could put themselves in his shoes. The thought struck a chord, and Walk in My Shoes was born. The initial fundraising concept was to ask the general public to wear odd or mismatched shoes, and in doing so, to help raise funds and stamp out the stigma that surrounds mental health difficulties.  Today, a whole host of other fundraising activities are staged by Walk in My Shoes including an annual World Mental Health Ball and a Golf Classic event.


News and upcoming events


Carers Guide

On June 9th, during National Carers Week, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services launched a Guide for carers of people with mental health difficulties. The Guide is available to view here.


E-Learning Film

An e-learning information film about Lithium (a drug that is widely used to treat and prevent episodes of mania) has just been launched on the St Patrick’s film and is available to view by the public here.


2015 Golf Classic

The annual Walk in My Shoes Charity Golf Classic is being held in Luttrellstown Castle Resort in September.  For more information visit the Walk in My Shoes website here.


For more news and events visit


Sarah Surgenor (July 2015)

Head of Communications & Fundraising

St Patrick's Mental Health Services

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