3 June 2020

Register Now: 2020 European Empowerment Seminar

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 European Empowerment Seminar – originally due to take place in Kilkenny, Ireland – goes digital. Entitled  “Let’s Talk – Empowering Recovery in Europe”, the 2020 European Empowerment Seminar  will take place online via Zoom on 24th July 2020 and will be hosted by Mental Health Ireland.


The seminar has been co-produced by people from backgrounds in lived experience of mental health challenges, family members / carers, service providers and will focus on how Empowering Recovery through co-production provides better outcomes for everyone.


The seminar will explore the key concepts of CHIME – Connection, Hope, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment through a variety of interactive and creative means. These will include: Music, Poetry, Art, Live Interactive Panel discussions, Presentations, Workshops dedicated to Human Rights and Advocacy, Education and Recovery and the power of Peer Workers in mental health service development and delivery, and a Virtual Recovery Trail.


In honouring true co-production, this year we are inviting people with lived experience of mental health challenges, family members / carers and service providers to register.


There is no cost for attendance. What you will need to participate is an open, curious mind, a willingness to engage in the co-production process, a passion to contribute and access to the internet.


When you register you will be asked to pick which interactive workshop you will be attending during the day. Places are limited on each workshop and are offered on a first come, first served basis. Please select another workshop if your first choice is full. The workshops will last 90 minutes and run from 1:10pm – 2:40 pm on the day of the webinar. Please note that the time of the webinar is displayed in Irish Standard Time. Central European Time is + 1 Hour. For more details on the workshops see below lower for summaries.


We look forward to welcoming you to 2020 European Empowerment seminar.


Workshop Title: What does recovery mean, and how can we explain it?

Facilitated by: Bob Grove, Senior Policy Adviser to Mental Health Europe & Martha Clark, Peer Support Worker, Health Service Executive and Psychology Graduate


Description: This workshop aims to gather meanings of recovery from different stakeholders in order to better explain this concept to the public. MHE’s Short Guide on Recovery will be introduced by co-authors to set the scene. Participants, persons with lived experience of mental health challenges, their families and friends, and service providers, will then be invited to explain what recovery means to them. Together we will discuss ways in which the concept of recovery in mental health can be explained to a lay audience, in order to improve the general understanding of mental health and decrease stigma.


Workshop Title: Empowering Recovery through Self-care

Facilitated by: Miffy Hoad is a Development Officer with Mental Health Ireland. Her background is in training & development with 20 years’ experience specialising in personal development, stress management and mindfulness. Her own lived experience of physical & mental health challenges informs her work.


Description: In this workshop participants will learn about the relationship between stress and resilience. They will be encouraged to reflect on their own relationship with stress and self-care during the session. They will also learn about practical ways to support their wellbeing through prioritising self-care practices. The workshop will close with a guided mindfulness practice. There will be a 10 min interval halfway through for comfort.


Workshop Title: Empowerment Through Education

Facilitated by: The workshop will be facilitated by Mayo Recovery College, who became the first Recovery College in Ireland in 2013.


Description: This interactive workshop will explore how Recovery Education empowers people with mental health challenges, their families/carers/supporters as well as service providers. It will illustrate how “empowering recovery” underpins Irish Mental Health policy and identify both the benefits of and challenges to empowering people through education.


Workshop Title: Peer Workers as Catalysts for Service User Empowerment

within their Individualised Recovery Journey

Facilitated by: Michael John Norton is a PhD student and a National Engagement & Recovery Lead with the Office of Mental Health Engagement & Recovery in Ireland. He has lived experience of mental health difficulties and has spent the last few years being an advocate for mental health recovery within South East Community Health Care and nationally through his involvement in many recovery initiatives.


Description: This workshop will explore the variety of roles which come under the umbrella term: peer workers. In doing so, it will examine through an andragogical learning methodology how such workers can act as catalysts for service users to become empowered to lead out on their own recovery journeys. Empowerment as a concept will also be explored, especially in terms of its relationship with ones’ recovery journey through Leamy et al. (2011) CHIME model.


Workshop Title: Empowering Recover: A Human Rights Based Approach

Facilitated by: ENUSP (European Network of (ex)users and survivors of psychiatry). ENUSP gives (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatric services across Europe a way to communicate so that we can support one other in the personal, political and social struggle against injustice and discrimination.


Description: This workshop will explore how recovery can be supported by the use of a human rights-based approach. More info to come shortly on this workshop.

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