Peer Advocacy in Mental Health

he Irish Advocacy Network (IAN) began Providing Peer Advocacy Services remotely using Apple iPads on a trial basis in July 2020 Following the success of this pilot project we decided to roll out the iPad Service in January 2021 to all the Mental Health Facilities IAN provides Peer Advocacy with the assistance of funding from Innovate Together and Rethink Ireland.

Given the nature of our work, we were always conscious of the confidentiality of our communications as well as the need for a secure infrastructure to facilitate this. With the help of our IT Partners, we established SMS connections using the Three Ireland network. This is not linked at either end to the HSE or IAN networks, servers or email. 

We would like to assure all users and facilitators of the remote iPad peer advocacy service that its continuity should not be affected by the recent compromise of the HSE’s IT systems and would encourage all mental health care units to continue to offer the service to our clients as normal. 

 Gerard Keating,

Senior Manager and Lead on iPad Project.

The Irish Advocacy Network Peer Advocacy Service for People with mental health Challenges has taken steps to respond to the current crisis.

Based on Government advice we will not be providing a face to face service at the moment.

If seeking advocacy support or have an enquiry about our service ring our national phonelines 

(01) 5470510 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.  Email will continue to be operational.


We are currently working on other technological solutions to providing our advocacy services remotely.

We will closely monitor the situation and provide updates on our website.

We urge all our clients and contacts to follow Government advice:-

  • wash your hands
  • minimise social contact

Further information on keeping yourself safe, symptoms and what to do if you think you have been infected by COVID-19 is provided by the HSE:

The HSE can answer questions on the virus through HSE Live:



Please be aware if you are having difficulty getting through to us or experiencing any delay in receiving a response it may be due to an increased demand for our advocacy services.  We urge you to be patient while we do our best to respond.

Privacy while accessing this site 

This site is used for information purposes only.  We do not collect data our monitor its use. 

  • We provide peer advocacy, support and information to people with mental health difficulties
  • We operate on an island-wide basis
  • We are an independent mental health organisation
  • Our staff have personal experience of mental health difficulties
  • We promote recovery and self-advocacy
  • We support people with mental health difficulties to speak up, speak out and take back and take control of their own lives
  • Our services are free and confidential
  • We operate a self-referral system

Vision statement

Working towards respect, recovery and equal citizenship for people with mental health difficulties


  • Living examples of recovery
  • Recognition of each individual situation
  • Equality and citizenship
  • Independent voice
  • Peer-to-peer relationships
  • Collaborative
  • Listening
  • Non-judgmental
  • Reduction of stigma
  • Adaptive


It is with deepest regret and much sadness that the Irish Advocacy has learnt of the passing of Diarmaid Ring.  Diarmaid was a member of our Board of Directors, taking up position of Chairperson for a number of years before concentrating his energies on other mental health related projects.  We have fond memories of Diarmaid, who was larger than life, jovial, articulate and always committed to changing the world for the greater good.  He was a big fan of Joan Baez whose ideas and expressions of freedom impacted him greatly.  Below is a quote from Joan Baez that he would undoubtedly know and aspire to live by.        

We’re not really pacifists, we’re nonviolent soldiers

Joan Baez


It is with great pleasure and much pride that the Irish Advocacy Network announces that our CEO, Colette Nolan has been accepted as a member of the Specialist Group Panel of the National Implementation and Monitoring Committee (NIMC).  The NIMC is responsible for driving and overseeing the long-term implementation of the recommendations of the national mental health policy Sharing the Vision – A Mental Health Policy for Everybody

This position is confirmed with special appointment by Mary Butler TD, Minister for Mental Health and Older People.  As a peer-led organisation, we see this a great opportunity for people with mental health problems to be represented at the highest level, influencing and transforming mental health services bringing a hopeful message for the future of mental health in Ireland.  It also enables IAN to promote the role and positive impact of peer advocacy in mental health across the country.    

See drop down “About us” – “Background of the Irish Advocacy Network” to find out more about the status of advocacy in mental health in Ireland as presented in Sharing the Vision – A Mental Health Policy for Everybody, and the position taken by the Irish Advocacy Network. 

Letter of concern

Click on this link below to access a letter sent to the editor of the Irish Times on behalf of the Irish Advocacy Network.  This was in response to an article titled:

“Mental health supports being provided during pandemic by ‘well intentioned’ but untrained people” 

We question the intentions and consequences of the content therein.  Unfortunately, our letter was not published