HSE National Conference on Traveller Mental Health

Today, (Tuesday, 22 November) the HSE held a national conference on Traveller mental health focusing on Creating Change for Traveller Mental Health - through Partnership and Action. The event was launched by Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD.

The event brings together HSE Traveller mental health coordinators, mental health practitioners and Traveller organisations from around the country.  Presentation topics including Traveller mental health services, social determinants of mental health, Traveller counselling service, preliminary research findings and trauma informed care.

Michael Ryan, Head of Mental Health Engagement & Recovery, HSE said, “The aim of today’s conference was to create an opportunity for services and stakeholders to come together to discuss Travellers’ mental health challenges as well as preliminary findings from recent research in Traveller mental health. The study results, under the theme ‘Health and Community Services’, includes Travellers’ suggestions on how the health system could be more responsive to their culture and needs. We are hopeful that this research will pave the way to a more inclusive mental health service for Travellers.”

The preliminary findings from the research Traveller Mental Wellness Continuum Framework shared today aimed to create a base for the development of a culturally sensitive continuum of mental wellness and suicide prevention for and by members of the Irish Traveller community.

Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD said, “I am really pleased to see mental health services and Traveller organisations come together from around the country to collaborate and to have these important conversations about prioritising Traveller mental health. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all who took part. I will continue to work to improve mental health care for Travellers in line with our mental health policy Sharing the Vision, and our national strategy to reduce suicide Connecting for Life. It has been a priority for me to see mental health as a key part of the forthcoming Traveller Health Action Plan, and I will continue to work with Traveller organisations to further develop and expand services and supports within the framework of this."

Last updated on: 22 / 11 / 2022