We are working with government and philanthropy to meet the challenges in mental health by supporting the development of recovery-based, cost-effective, personalised services that enable people with mental health difficulties to live as included and valued members of the community. This involves a move away from traditional, often expensive, services which group and segregate people focussing on their deficits rather than their strengths. 

Recovery is about living as full and valued a life as possible while experiencing mental health difficulties. By putting recovery as the guiding principle of services, each person is supported on their journey towards an independent, self-directed life, centred on strengths, solutions, health and wellness. Personalised services means putting the person at the heart of service design and delivery, giving people what they need, when and where they need it.

Scaling Innovation in Mental Health 

The Service Reform Fund (SRF) has been created by the Department of Health; the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government; the Health Service Executive Ireland (HSE); Local Authorities; and the Atlantic Philanthropies, in collaboration with Genio, to implement service reform in Ireland in mental health, disability and homelessness. The SRF represents a total combined investment of €45m by the Department and Atlantic to re-configure existing services towards more person-centred supports which are also more transparent, accountable and cost-effective, in line with government policy. A total funding pool of €18m has been allocated to advance this work in mental health. This represents the 'scaling innovation' phase of our work in mental health (see the Genio Model).

In November 2017, Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly TD announced that €9m has been awarded in grants from the Service Reform Fund. These grants have been awarded through the HSE community structures, Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) around the country. CHOs invited consortia – including people with lived experience, family members, service providers and community groups – to work together to develop the proposals for these grants. Funding has been awarded by the Genio Trust through a rigorous application process jointly assessed by the Genio Trust and the HSE, with direct input from service users and family representatives.

Priority areas for reform in Mental Health services 2016 - 2018

Successful proposals to the SRF are focusing on the three key areas below and will look outside of the mental health service into communities, the voluntary sector, and other mainstream organisations, to form alliances which will effectively support the reconfiguration of services.

  • Advancing Recovery - This stream focuses on embedding recovery practices in existing mental health services. Successful applicants put forward proposals to develop more outward facing services in partnership with service users, families and carers, local communities, the voluntary sector and other mainstream supports.
  • Employment - This stream aims to implement the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach to develop opportunities for people with mental health difficulties to remain in, or to access, work in mainstream settings and to support employers in addressing attendant recruitment and retention issues. Individuals will be offered supports to access opportunities which are based on their skills and interests.
  • Community based living - This stream aims to support people with mental health difficulties to identify and address their housing needs and to optimise their opportunities to live independently in the community. Work will be undertaken to develop appropriate pathways towards independent living in partnerships with local authorities and approved housing bodies and other relevant partners as well as customising supports on an individualised basis.

In addition to the three priority areas above, the Service Reform Fund will also be focussing on mental health and homelessness in the coming months. 

  • Homelessness - Supporting the mental health needs of individuals who are homeless during transitions to housing arrangements

The HSE and Genio is collaborating closely on this work. Updates will be available through the HSE Community Healthcare Organisations and Genio website www.genio.ie.

For further enquiries please contact: 

  • Sharon Lane | Programme Manager - Mental Health | Genio | [email protected]

  • John McCusker | Operations and Improvements Manager | Mental Health Services Directorate, Health Service Executive | [email protected]  

Early Innovation in Mental Health

€8m innovation funding was awarded to 103 mental health projects around Ireland between 2010 - 2015, in partnership with the Health Service Executive Ireland (HSE) and the Atlantic Philanthropies. These projects represent the 'early innovation' phase of our work in mental health (see the Genio Model). Explore our interactive map of Ireland to view mental health projects funded through Genio. Use the filters to view by areas of interest and counties. Brief descriptions of each project are provided along with details of the grant awarded.

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