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Feb 2017 by PCI College

Connection Profile : Shine

Shine is the national organisation dedicated to upholding the rights and addressing the needs of all those affected by mental ill health, through the promotion and provision of high quality services and working to Shine is the national organisation dedicated to upholding the rights and addressing the needs of all those affected by mental ill health, through the promotion and provision of high quality services and working to ensure the continual enhancement of the quality of life of the people it serves the continual enhancement of the quality of life of the people it serves

Do you experience mental ill health? Do you support someone who experiences mental ill health? What next?


What we do.

Shine staff deal with queries in person, by email or over the phone and provide up-to-date information on local mental health services, information resources, training and employment services and other community resources.  We provide services such as one to one support, peer support groups and education and training courses. Currently, Shine operates 50 peer support groups for people with personal experience of mental ill health and their supporters.  We have day resource centres in Dublin, Cork and Waterford that operate from Monday to Friday. Our offices are located in each region of Ireland and deal with people across the country.

Our Members.

Each of our members have a voice in the development of the organisation.  When someone becomes a member, they join a network of people who have experienced mental ill health or who have experienced care for someone with mental ill health.  All our members have access to the information and supports that Shine offers and are kept up-to-date with Shine’s work through our Shine newsletter and staff.

Family Recovery.

Often the family and friends of individuals with mental health difficulties are impacted.  Some people may neglect their own needs in response and become fixed on the person experiencing mental health issues. This is why a key area of Shine’s work is aimed at people who support those with self experience of mental ill health. This has resulted in the development and support of a national network of Relative Support Groups and the  FRIENDS project. FRIENDS stands for Family Recovery Initiatives by Engaging, Networking and Developing Supports. FRIENDS is a partnership between family members, Áras Folláin, Shine and the Mid-West HSE. Family recovery is the process of becoming aware of how our behaviours and beliefs impact our relationships and quality of life. When someone practices family recovery, it can have a positive impact on everyone involved in our lives, in particular the person experiencing mental health issues.

One to one support.

Shine staff address people’s concerns on a one to one basis allowing the individual to discuss their needs confidentially.

Groups support.

Shine runs peer support groups for people with self experience of mental health difficulties and people who support them across the country. The groups provide emotional and social support, and allow for a mutual sharing of concerns.

Phrenz Groups.

Our Phrenz groups are run nationwide and support individuals in their own recovery. People find sharing experiences with others can be a great way of learning new coping skills and growing your support network. Our Phrenz Groups are a chance to learn and to build community supports. All Phrenz groups are facilitated by people who have experienced mental ill health.

Relatives’ Support Groups.

Relatives’ support groups are for families, supporters and friends of people with mental ill health. Learning from other people’s ways of coping is an important part of our relatives groups. Our Relatives’ support groups are peer-facilitated or facilitated by a health professional. They are run nationwide.

Resource Centres.

Our resource centres are based on the principles of cooperative, conservation, partnership and empowerment. Our resource centres include The Basin Club in Dublin, The Basement Resource Centre in Cork and The Waterford Discovery Hub. All members are encouraged to raise issues or make suggestions about the activities, policies, procedures and the running of the centres through a weekly members forum.

Education and Training.

We offer a selection of education and training programmes geared towards empowering people with mental health problems and their families to steer their own recovery. Take a look at the course overviews below to see which course meets your needs.

The Taking Control Workshop.

The ‘Taking Control’ Workshop is about learning practical ways to face life’s challenges. You’ll work on maintaining and taking control of your physical and mental wellbeing.

The Family Education Course.

The Family Education Course recognises the family as a very important factor in a person’s mental health recovery. This course is designed to help families develop the knowledge and skills to support their loved one on his or her recovery journey.

The Finding My Way Course.

The Finding My Way Course is a plan to guide your recovery. When you are affected by a disorder, your life changes. Recovering can be a long and difficult process. You will find that it’s often necessary to learn new coping skills or even to re-learn old ones.

Confidential counselling.

Our trained counsellors can help to deal with the more serious challenges faced by people with mental health problems. They have offices in Dublin and Cork.

Our projects

See Change

See Change is the national stigma reduction partnership and one of  Shine’s national projects. See Change works with over 90 organisations through the National Stigma Reduction Partnership to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health difficulties.

This year, See Change will be launching its 5th and hopefully largest Green Ribbon campaign. The campaign encourages a national conversation about mental health in order to challenge stigma. 500,000 Green Ribbons will be distributed across the country to help change minds about mental health, one conversation at a time. According to research conducted by Milward Brown after Green Ribbon 2016, 93% of people in Ireland feel it is important to talk about mental health.
When we talk about stigma, we are talking about using negative labels to identify people with mental health problems. Sadly, this is still a big problem faced by people with mental health problems. Experiencing stigma can be extremely hurtful and isolating. It may even prevent people coming forward and seeking the help they need.
You can visit to order your Green Ribbons today or visit for more information on the national stigma reduction partnership.

See Change has been in collaboration with the Please Talk campaign since 2010 to engage Ireland’s student population. Please Talk urges students to understand that talking is a sign of strength - not a weakness - and if someone is experiencing problems while at college, there are people they can talk to. You can visit for more.


Headline is Ireland's national media monitoring programme, working to promote responsible and accurate coverage of mental health and suicide related issues within the Irish media. It is operated as one of Shine’s national projects and monitors tens of thousands of articles each year.
About 6% of all people who die by suicide are influenced by other suicides they have learned about through word of mouth or particularly graphic media reports.  Up to 13% of teenage suicides occur in clusters and copycat behaviour is generally seen in the suicide method chosen. According to the World Health Organisation, 30 years of research has shown that how suicide is talked about or reported on by the media can have a strong effect on vulnerable people. There are a number of reasons for this, for example, a combination of grief, over-identification with the person who has died or a fixation on the details of the method of suicide or self-harm.
Headline aims to highlight mental health issues and address the stigma attached to emotional distress, suicidal behaviour and mental illness through the promotion of media guidelines and responsible coverage of mental health and suicide.


Upcoming Events

TBC: College of Psychiatry Conference in September.


Shine has worked with people affected by mental ill health since its foundation in 1975. We provide services and supports to people living with mental illnesses and their families, friends and supporters.  In 2016, Shine staff were in contact with over 35,000 people. We are members of the Advancing Recovery in Ireland (ARI) project which is spearheaded by the HSE. These regional projects are designed to ensure that services provision and delivery becomes more recovery orientated.

Author: John Saunders, CEO of Shine, Supporting People Affected by Mental Ill Health

Relevant links

Twitter @Shineonlineirel




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