The Moving Ahead Report (2015) Identified many issues that people with disabilities in Ireland face in Ireland today; the report highlights the difficulties of being able to access supports that are based on their needs in their community, focus on active support, community involvement and participation and support their parents as part of the process. It also highlights the need for service providers to change how services are delivered and to provide community-based services that are based around the individual’s needs.

Similarly, Vision for Change details a comprehensive model of mental health service provision for Ireland. It describes a framework for building and fostering positive mental health across the entire community and for providing accessible, community-based, specialist services for people with mental illness. Included in this vision is to ensure support for families and an advocacy model to assist the Mental Health Services.

YAP Ireland has a proven track record of providing services to young people and families with mental health and Disability diagnoses.

Disability and Mental Health Intensive Support Service provides a 12 month programme to Young People aged 10 – 21 years and families who require an intensive, strengths based, needs led service to achieve their goals. This may include support to build on independent living skills, support in taking an active part in family, school/education and community life and reducing the risk of placement breakdown. Many of the young people will have diagnoses of Autism, Aspergers or be living with a mental health diagnosis.

Benefits to Young People and Families through YAP intervention gain:

  • Improved Self Esteem and Confidence – Building Resilience

  • Enhanced Community Links including education, employment and training, attending clubs, embracing hobbies, taking part in Voice and Participation opportunities
  • Improved Parenting Skills and reduction in family isolation

  • Improved attendance at therapeutic appointments and practice of skills learned

  • Having support specific to their needs, in their area at their own pace including independent living

  • Ability to live full lives in the community and be active participants in meaningful activities


  • Ensuring access to services based on individual needs

  • Support Parents and Siblings as part of the service

  • Improving resilience and community engagement

  • Promoting Self Advocacy for Young People enabling them to make positive decisions about the services they are part of

  • Encouraging independent living and support in making this transition

  • Reducing the number of Crisis appointments in CAMHS

  • Reducing the number of Young People and Families on waiting lists

  • Reducing the number of missed and cancelled CAMHS appointments

  • Enhancing the outcomes for young people and families in line with Mental Health and Disability Policy

  • Reducing the number of presentations at Emergency Departments

We’ve had a break through in the last few weeks and my son is now engaging with Advocate, it’s hard with Autism. (My son) is getting out and about with someone positive. The Advocate is a good role model. First few weeks were tricky but then they discovered that they have a mutual love for soccer and the gym. I’m delighted with everything.


I can now cope with my emotions and my relationship with my family is better.

Young Person

If you would like more information about making a referral to YAP or would like to privately fund a YAP Service for your organisation please click here


We identified 234 young people with a disability/autism diagnosis at referral between 2011 and 2019. 80% showed an improvement in Self Esteem/Confidence; 83% improvement in Self Harm Behaviours; 80% in Parenting Skills, 82% in Education and 82% in enhancing home and community links.

The outcomes for these young people and families are very positive and in line with the outcomes of the whole cohort of Young people availing of the services of YAP.


We identified 306 young people with a mental health diagnosis at referral between 2011 and 2019. 75% showed an improvement in Self Esteem/Confidence; 82% improvement in Self Harm Behaviours; 79% in Parenting Skills and 71% in attendance at school etc.

The outcomes for these young people and families are very positive and in line with the outcomes of the whole cohort of Young people availing of the services of YAP.


The training and experience gained by Advocates through employment with YAP Ireland has long-term beneficial outcomes for you and your communities.