Mental Health Review Journal | VOL. 27

Creating alchemy within an Irish mental health service

Publication Date Jun 17, 2022


Purpose This paper aims to describe a novel community development and how the synergies arising from the interaction of diverse perspectives (including arts and health, person centredness, co-production and shared leadership) have led to a transformative initiative for individuals and a local community in the Republic of Ireland. Design/methodology/approach This is a descriptive case study. It includes the personal narrative of an expert by experience who is one of the co-authors. Links to short digital films are also included along with references to internal evaluation documents and published literature. Reflections from the nurses who contributed to the initiative and a university academic are also incorporated. Findings A space in the community built around the principles of relational practice has evolved into an alchemical space, enabling creativity, recovery and well-being. The benefits arising out of this network of social relationships have contributed to personal recovery, integration with the local community and generated social capital. This has enhanced mental health and well-being locally. Practical implications Statutory Irish health policy is reflective of developments in health care internationally, with an emphasis on greater delivery of care in the community. This views citizens as active partners in the maintenance of their health and well-being. This case study illustrates how this has unfolded in practice in a rural mental health community context. Originality/value This paper adds to the evide...


Irish Mental Health Service Well-being Of Local Communities Person Centredness Descriptive Case Study Local Community Health Of Local Communities Mental Health Active Partners Community Development Individual Journeys

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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