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3RD National Mental Health Nursing Conference 2017

Embedding Recovery Principles in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Practice: Learning from Experience


The Office of the Nursing & Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD) in the HSE hosted a national mental health nursing conference in Dublin Castle on the September 27th 2017. The theme of the day was Embedding Recovery Principles in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Practice: Learning from Experience.

This inspiring event was attended by 300 delegates from a variety of backgrounds including healthcare professionals, service users, family members, carers, advocates, peer workers, and community organisations. Key speakers included: Professor Ian Robertson, Alan O Mara, Cavan Gaelic footballer and Dr. Ann Sheridan.

Jim Daly Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People officially opened the conference. The Minister stated that “Despite severe pressures on our public finances over recent years, steady and measurable progress has been made to develop mental health services. I strongly believe that we can be optimistic about mental health in the future, particularly given the new developments and infrastructure now in place, and will be delivered in the future.”

 The Minister added “modern infrastructure, including that for community based teams which underpins the concept of Recovery for those using services. He also added that “an increase to undergraduate training for mental health nurses is now being made available, while promoting career opportunities for those working within mental health services.”

The conference was a collaborative event which provided opportunities for families, service users and advocates to present personal stories and experiences of their mental health experiences to reduce stigma and promote mental health and wellbeing.  

Alan O Mara shared his compelling story about his experience with depression. Alan is the author of the best-selling memoir, ‘The Best is Yet to Come’ and a renowned speaker for his mixture of honesty, insight and humour on the topic of health and wellbeing.

Ian Robertson is Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin and was the founding director of Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. His interactive presentation focused on how to harness stress to become emotionally stronger and mentally sharper. Through practical, interactive exercises, interspersed with brief presentations, Ian demonstrated how it’s possible to improve mental and emotional functioning through controlling the brain’s “sweet spot”.

Modern mental health nursing care relies on professionals, families and key personal working in partnership to sustain service user’s recovery and achieve their potential and a fulfilling life.  Dr. Ann Sheridan highlighted the importance of good leadership and the need for mental health nurses to care for themselves in order to work collaboratively with individuals and their families. 

This mental health nursing conference demonstrated the co-ordinated, structured approach within the nursing profession to enable recovery in every location where care is delivered. The conference also showcased excellence in clinical practice from health care organisations nationally with 26 posters displayed.


Left to right Ms Liz Roche, Area Director NMPD  and National Lead for Mental Health Nursing, Jim Daly Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People and Ms Mary Wynne, Nursing and Midwifery Services Director & Assistant National Director, Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director.

Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division