Peer Advocacy in Mental Health

The 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


Public consultations. 

The links below will lead you to written submissions on behalf of the Irish Advocacy Network toward two significant pieces of legislation. 

See this link to a written response, on behalf of the Irish Advocacy Network to the public consultation on draft legislation to update the Review of the Mental Health Act, 2001.

This link will lead you to a submission on behalf of the Irish Advocacy Network to the public consultation on the introduction of a statutory Duty of Candour in Northern Ireland.

Survey Questionnaires 

The Irish Advocacy Network conducted three survey questionnaires conducted 2020 and 2021.  

Here is a summary report on a pilot of the remote service, conducted 2020; this second link is a summary of a secondary survey questionnaire based on the use of 50 iPads for the provision of remote peer advocacy at approved psychiatric centres across Ireland during Covid.

 Follow this link to a Report on feedback from advocacy staff of the Irish Advocacy Network on supports and communication provided during the first 13months of covid restrictions.