The Independent Advocacy Service in Kerry was launched on 10th August by the Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD.

The goals of the independent advocacy service are to: 

  • ensure that the voice of young people using CAMHS is heard. 
  • empower young people and their families. 
  • ensure there is good communication between young people and their CAMHS team. 
  • empower young people to raise issues as early as possible. 
  • assist young people and families to resolve any issues that may arise as early as possible. 

At the launch the Minister said “I am proud to be here to launch this initiative to empower young people and families to speak up for themselves, to ensure good communication with key-workers and teams, and to support those requiring advocacy to raise important issues when this is necessary. It is grounded on a rights-based and person-centred approach, which is core to me as Minister.”

The launch also heard from a young person Alix about the importance of having Independent Advocacy available when accessing CAMHS.  She said ” I had to attend many meetings with different professionals that caused some overwhelm for me.  Having an independent advocate to talk through these meetings and expectations would have been helpful for me at that stage of my journey.”  Sinead, a parent from Galway who has used the service, said ” In the past , our daughter struggled to attend meetings but now she feels she has support. She has moved from I don’t know to I have a Voice.” Please find their speeches attached here: IAS Launch Speeches

Siobhán O’Dwyer, CEO of YAP Ireland was interviewed on Radio Kerry on 11/8/22 and you can listen back here:

Other press articles include:

The Irish Independent – The Kerryman Newspaper

Tralee Today

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