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Launch of our Fifth Annual Second Opinions Report and Awards Ceremony

The launch of our fifth annual Second Opinions Report and awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 29 May 2014 in St Patrick’s University Hospital, James Street, Dublin 8 from 10.30 am to 1.00 pm. Tea/coffee on arrival and a light lunch will be provided.

Second Opinions is our report on the views of those who are using mental health services and includes the perspective of their families and friends. It is now the only valid way in which the progress and performance of the HSE in implementing Vision for Change can be measured and commented on. Each year we also give awards to those facilities which are provided the best quality services, as identified by service users and their families and friends.

We are pleased to announce that the report will be formally launched and the awards presented by Colm Keaveney, TD, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability, Mental Health, & Special Needs.

Please spread the word to anyone who might be interested. All are welcome. Book your place by email –, or phone 085 1212399, 085 1212386.

We look forward to seeing you on the day.


Message from the Chairperson


NSUE was established five years ago with the aim of giving service users, family members and friends a voice in how their mental health services are planned, delivered, evaluated and monitored.  Today, we are proudly supported by more than 4000 members and this number is growing.

Looking back we are encouraged by the positive changes we have delivered, including the introduction of innovative models for involving service users and carers in the the development of mental health services.  At the same time, we are very concerned by the amount of work that remains to be done and the slow pace of change.

In July this year, we were advised by the HSE that they would cease funding NSUE.  While this is a blow, NSUE wish to assure our supporters and partners that we are determined to continue our work as a voluntary organisation, working in partnership with local service providers and the wider community to improve mental health services throughout Ireland.  We will continue our annual independent survey of how users, family members and friends experience Irish mental health services, and we wish to continue offering support, training and capacity building to people involved in local consumer panels.

Over the coming months, NSUE will be in a state of transition as we seek to adjust to the changes, so please bear with us.

You can help by:

  • Joining as a member - its free and it strengthens our voice
  • Completing our online survey (see above)
  • Making a donation however small
  • Becoming involved in your local consumer panel

To contact us:

  •  Email -
  • Phone - 085 1212399, 085 1212386
  • Write - National Service Users Executive 28 Sandyford Office Park, Blackthorn Ave., Sandymount, Dublin 18.

Charlotte Frorath

Supporting Your Vision


 Vision for Change which is the document which explains National Mental Health Policy, describes an inclusive model, which envisages that:

"Service providers (work) in partnership with service users and their families, and facilitate recovery and reintegration through the provision of accessible, comprehensive and community-based mental health services".

In order for this to happen, service users and their families, friends and carers must have a means of becoming actively involved in this process. The National Service Users Executive has been established in order to make progress on this commitment.

We cannot do this properly without the support of individuals who know, from their everyday experiences, what works best for them.

We need your feedback on what you feel is important, and you can register as a member (it's free) so that we can hear your views and respond to them as best we can.




NSUE eLearning Programme on Service User Perspectives Launched 24th January 2012

At the National Service Users Executive, we believe that lack of information, misinformation and misconceptions lie at the heart of many of the problems experienced by those who use mental health services, their families and their friends. We decided to attempt to address this with the introduction of an online learning programme which we hope will be of practical benefit to all those people who participate in mental health services, and all who have an interest.

The course is designed to offer an insight into the thoughts and feelings of our members on a range of topics, and a number of simple multiple-choice questions on current practice and policy. 

The course can be accessed at

NSUE Second Opinions Launch 24th January 2013


The Launch of "Second Opinions" took place on 24th January 2013 in St Patrick's University Hospital.

This is the fourth successive year the National Service User Executive (NSUE) has carried out a national user satisfaction survey. The overall aim of this survey is to provide an opportunity for the users of mental health services in Ireland to share their experiences, highlight concerns, and propose suggestions about how services can be improved. A total of 1488 respondents completed the questionnaire.

This survey is unique in an Irish context and it is our hope that it will prove to be a useful tool for service providers and users at all levels, and that it will help promote the ethos, values and objectives of ‘Vision for Change’ (VFC).

Each year NSUE honours the services which scored highest in the following categories; “Best Overall Service”, “Most Effective Supports”, and the “Best Training Centre”.

The “Best Overall Service” award went to: Tosnú Mental Health Resource Centre, Ballincollig, Co. Cork

The “Most Effective Supports” award went to: Tara Suite Mental Health Day Centre, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath

The “Best Training Centre” award went to: The National Learning Network, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

NSUE "Second Opinions" Report Launch 24th January 2012


The results of the largest ever survey of people who use mental health services, their families and friends will be launched at St. Patrick’s University Hospital. Over 1,500 individuals completed the questionnaire which was devised and distributed by the National Service Users Executive (NSUE).

“We use this survey annually in order to evaluate mental health services by those best placed to do so- the people who use them everyday”, said John Redican, the Chief Executive of NSUE.

He continued, “Surprisingly, three quarters of respondents reported that they were happy with the services they received last year. This was also an increase on the previous year, 2010. This finding is surprising in the present economic climate, where resources are being reduced. We think that the most likely explanation for it is that our respondents noticed substantial improvements in staff attitudes.”

As part of the results of the survey, NSUE will honour the HSE services which scored highest in selected categories; “Best Overall Service”, “Most Effective Supports”, and the “Most Improved Culture of Care”.

The “Best Overall Service” award went to: The Clifden Mental Health Service

The “Most Effective Supports” award went to: The Mallow Mental Health Service

The “Most Improved Culture of Care” award went to: The Carlow Mental Health Service

The awards were presented by Kathleen Lynch, T.D. Minister of State, Mental Health, Disability and Older People at St. Patrick University Hospital, Dublin

Copies of the report may be obtained by contacting NSUE or can be downloaded here: NSUE Second Opinions Report 2011



NSUE stance on amendment of the 2001 Mental Health Act in relation to the administration of Electro-convulsive therapy.

In summary the NSUE position is this:

The phrase 'or unwilling" should be removed altogether, and strong capacity legislation introduced as a matter of urgency in order to protect those who are unable to make decisions for themselves.  This conclusion is inescapable if the European Court of Human Rights decisions are to be upheld, which ireland is bound to do.

See the full text in the Documents Section of this website.

(It is interesting that after the NSUE position became known, both the Mental Health Commission and Amnesty Ireland make their positions public.  Both of these followed closely the NSUE stance.  Indeed, the Mental Health Commission asked NSUE to bring thier postion to the Oireactas during the NSUE presentation.  Isn't it good to hve an organisation that is not afraid to lead the way.)


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