Strategic Plan for Peer Advocacy in Mental Health
Peer Advocacy in Mental Health (PAMH) is a charitable organisation committed to supporting and empowering individuals experiencing mental health challenges through peer advocacy and training. Established more than twenty years ago, PAMH has long been pioneers in the development of peer advocacy services and modern mental health policy.
To ensure that they could continue to grow and deliver their vital services across the island of Ireland, in May 2019, PAMH (then known as the Irish Advocacy Network) engaged 2into3 in the development of a Strategic Plan that would increase their capacity and put sustainable structures in place for the future.
About Peer Advocacy in Mental Health
Based in Dublin, PAMH operates a free and confidential peer advocacy service, which in 2019 served 24 counties across the island of Ireland. The organisation uses a self-referral system, with clients approaching advocates of their own volition. PAMH offers accredited training and development for Peer Advocates and in self-advocacy. PAMH is also a member of various working groups and committees that inform policy on mental health in Ireland.
Leading principle of PAMH
PAMH exists on the basis that living through a period of mental ill health is something that can be ‘harvested’ for the benefit of others. The lived experience of the peer advocate enables deep human connection, hope and inspiration when the peer advocate client finds themselves challenged with their mental health. Living through a period of mental ill health is an essential criterion to become a practicing advocate for the Irish Advocacy Network. This is the antithesis of the general approach of employers in many employment sectors across the world where career opportunities are denied of those who declare a period of mental ill health in their life.