The Team in Linn Dara

Psychiatry Doctors

When you are on the unit you and your family will meet with doctors who are specialists in working with children and young people who may be suffering from emotional or mental health difficulties. These doctors are often referred to as psychiatrists.

A doctor’s role is to understand or ‘diagnose what sort of difficulties a young person may be experiencing, and to make recommendations about approaches to helping you recover. They will do this by talking to you, your family, collecting information about important things in your life and linking with the rest of the team who will be supporting you while you are here in the unit.

Recommendations doctors may make include: talking therapy, family work or prescribing medication, or a mixture of any of these.

Psychiatrists have all originally trained as medical doctors, and the doctors on the unit will also look after your basic medical needs while you are here.  This includes a general physical check-up after you are admitted, prescribing and monitoring medication, or any general reviews for coughs, colds, headaches etc.  If needed the doctors may link with your own GP or help arrange a referral to a specialist doctor for a medical opinion.

Psychiatric / Mental Health Nurse

Psychiatric/mental health nurses are registered mental health professionals who are responsible for your care, treatment and road to recovery.

Nursing staff are present in the unit at all times and provide nursing care such as:

  •  administering and monitoring medication
  •  monitoring vital signs
  •  assistance with activities of daily living
  •  assisting to maintain a healthy balance between rest, leisure and nutrition

Psychiatric/mental health nursing is a specialist nursing discipline. Its primary objectives are to support young people to achieve recovery and optimum mental health. Nurses do this by providing intense emotional, relational and attachment-focused interventions. The nursing team are core to the ward environment and are available 24 hours a day.

 Psychiatric nurses facilitate therapeutic individual and group work sessions with you according to your needs.  These may include psycho-education on anxiety & stress management, self-esteem, assertiveness, communication, DBT skills and decider skills among others.

Named Nurse/Social Care Worker

Patients will be allocated a nurse/social care worker or nurses who are responsible for coordinating you care needs on a day to day basis. Your allocated nurse/social care worker or nurses will be more familiar with your needs and care plan. They work as part of the multidisciplinary team and with your key worker, however they are available 24 hours a day and will review and discuss your care needs.

Clinical Nurse Manager

This is the nurse whose job it is to oversee all activities on your ward. They coordinate and manage the operations of your ward in consultation with the other nurses on your ward. They work as part of the multidisciplinary team. You can speak to this nurse or request to speak to this nurse if you have any issues or any feedback including feedback, compliments or complaints.

Key Worker

The clinical person who co-ordinates the delivery of the individual care and treatment plan. The key worker is responsible for keeping close contact with the resident, family carer and chosen advocate and for advising other members of the multi-disciplinary team of changes in the service user’s circumstances.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy (OT) focuses on helping young people engage meaningfully in everyday activities.  It aims to promote maximum independence and quality of life for the young person. Occupational Therapists believe that active engagement in meaningful activity helps to prevent/overcome illness.

The OT is interested in all the activities you do in your day (self-care, school/work or leisure activities) and the balance between these, they will look at what supports or prevents your participation in activities you need or want to do.  If needed the OT will carry out assessments to determine the underlying reasons why a young person is not performing as they wish to.

OT intervention will focus on developing the skills you need to successfully participate in the various activities and environments in which you choose to or need to engage in and facilitating your return to meaningful activities when you leave the Unit.  OT is a doing kind of therapy so you will be involved in individual or group activities on the Unit designed to foster self-esteem and teach practical skills that will support recovery and resilience.

Social Work

Social workers do all sorts of different jobs depending on where they work.  The social worker in Linn Dara will meet with you and your family to explore what your family strengths are so we can build on them and to explore how you and your family work as a team.  This can be really helpful because it’s easy when we are stressed or worried, to forget to talk to each other, or for it to be hard to find the right words. 

The social worker in Linn Dara will meet you with you both with your parents and on your own and will also meet your parents on their own too.  This is to give everyone a chance to talk about their worries and their hopes for the admission.  The more we know about ourselves and our strengths the easier it is to make the changes we want for ourselves.

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and language therapy (SLT) is about supporting young people to communicate with others.  Most of our day is spent listening and talking to others.

Communication is an important part of our mental health and well-being. It includes:

  •  understanding people’s facial expressions and body language
  •  listening and understanding what others say to us
  •  sharing news, and telling a story
  •  giving our opinions, explaining what we think and agreeing/disagreeing,
  •  saying how we feel
  •  figuring out a plan together
  •  asking questions
  •  apologising
  •  making new friends
  •  standing up for ourselves
  •  understanding sarcasm and jokes

SLT works with young people to develop their communication skills and their confidence in communicating with others by:

  •  exploring their understanding of what others say to them
  •  helping them to express their own ideas
  •  supporting them to take part in everyday conversations.

We want to help you to communicate with others as best you can as part of your overall recovery. 

Clinical Psychology

You are likely to meet with the clinical psychologist while in the Linn Dara Inpatient Unit. The psychologist will work with you and your family with the goal of improving your distress and mental health problems. They might also work with you in a group with other young people.

The clinical psychologist will assess your individual situation and with you, try to better understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. They usually ask about important times from your past and about key relationships in your life. They pull the information together to help you to get a clearer picture of what might be causing and maintaining your problems.

Clinical psychologists use research to learn the best ways to treat young people who have difficulties like you. This often involves supporting you to understand yourself better and to learn new ways of coping with problems. Sometimes young people have concerns about their learning and concentration, the psychologist can also help you to understand these better.

The psychology team are involved in research and training to educate others on issues relating to mental health. They welcome diversity in all areas including religion, race, gender and sexual orientation. They encourage self-care for young people, their families, and staff alike.


The Dietitians in Linn Dara Approved Centre will meet with you and your family to discuss any dietary and nutritional issues you may have (We have a Clinical Specialist and Senior Dietitian). The Dietician will aim to provide a comprehensive service to you translating scientific research on food and nutrition into practical dietary advice.

The dietitian will manage your dietary needs through:

  •  dietary counselling
  •  supplementation of nutrient intake
  •  continued monitoring of your nutritional requirements
  •  prescribing enteral (Nasogastric) feeds / regimes as clinically indicated.

The Dietitian will strive to educate you, your family, carers and members of the multidisciplinary team to ensure continuity of care and awareness of your nutritional needs including nutritional rehabilitation.

Social Care Worker

A Social Care Worker forms part of the multidisciplinary team within the Linn Dara Inpatient Unit. We are committed to the planning and delivery of quality care and other support services for children and young people presenting with mental health needs.

We are involved in the assessment and treatment process and provide specialised therapeutic support through the use of cognitive behavioural therapy, individual work and group sessions associated with identified needs.

Educational Staff

Linn Dara has an onsite school which operates from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm daily during term time. The school has a principal, secretary, special needs assistant, primary teacher and secondary teachers. You will have a key teacher who will help you settle into school and overcome initial worries.

We will work closely with your home school and help you make the transition back to school on discharge.  As soon as possible, we will develop an individual education plan for you, and will also help you engage in work sent by your home school. The school timetable includes English, Irish, Maths, History, Geography, PE, Science, Art, French, Business Studies, CSPE and SPHE.  Public examinations can be taken in school.  The school also offers various educational activities such as cooking, music, horticulture and outings.

Family Therapy

Family therapy addresses the problems people present within the context of their relationships with significant persons in their lives and their social networks. It is a well-recognised psychotherapeutic approach, primarily concerned with the family system as a social unit, in contrast to other psychotherapy approaches such as psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioural therapy, which focus on the individual. Family therapy and systemic practise is a heterogeneous field; there are different schools and models that share several principles and guiding assumptions.

Some of the commonly shared goals of family therapy might for example include:

  •  improvement of family functioning on different levels
  •  enhancement of mutual understanding and emotional support among family members
  •  development of coping skills and problem-solving strategies in various life dilemmas and situations.

Art Therapy

Art Therapy is a distinct discipline that uses creative methods of expression through visual art media. Within a mental health setting, it focuses on the emotional and cognitive needs of the person, allowing an alternative and additional means of communication within a therapeutic relationship.

Play Therapy

Play Therapy uses a variety of play and creative arts techniques to alleviate chronic, mild and moderate psychological and emotional conditions in children that are causing behavioural problems and/or are preventing children from realising their potential.

The Play Therapist forms a short to medium term therapeutic relationship and often works systemically taking into account and perhaps dealing with the social environment of the clients (peers, siblings, family, school).


Dramatherapy is a creative art therapy, which integrates role play, stories, improvisation, puppetry and fun into the therapy. Dramatherapy can help clients communicate their feelings through play and drama.

Other services available

Chiropody, dental, optical, radiology services and specialised treatments are provided as required in line with the young person’s individual care plan.